NOLA FoodFest Returns To Historic French Market

NEW ORLEANS – NOLA FoodFest, a weekend-long celebration of American cuisine that attracts chefs from across the country to prepare their hometown specialties in New Orleans, returns to the French Market on Saturday, March 28, 2015, from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Sunday March, 29, from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

         The free festival, which features more than 25 different restaurants, will also highlight New Haven, CT's Zuppardi's Pizza, which will unveil their first pizza truck in New Orleans on March 28. Other highlights include Gus' world famous fried chicken, Central BBQ from Memphis, TN, and New Orleans' own Antoine's Restaurant.

         "Thanks to the many years of success in New Orleans, FoodFest is continuing to grow and secure interest from nationally recognized restaurateurs," NOLA FoodFest co-founder and organizer Stephen Rushmore, said. "Some of our favorite participants are returning this year – including Gus' Fried Chicken and Central BBQ – but we're also excited to announce that Zuppardi's Pizza from New Haven, CT, has chosen to debut their first ever Pizza Truck at the festival."

         "The Zuppardi family is beyond excited to debut the Zuppardi's Pizza Truck at FoodFest in New Orleans," James Ormrod, the great grandson of Zuppardi's Pizza and the primary developer of the pizza truck, said. "We look forward to serving New Orleans with quality, New Haven-style 'ah beetz' or our way of saying 'Pizza!'"

         The festival donates a portion of proceeds to Café Reconcile, a New Orleans-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of young adults and the community through hospitality job training programs. Beverage sales at the festival are the primary source of revenue for the festival organizers who will donate a portion to Café Reconcile.

         The weekend kicks off March 27 with "America's Hometown Sweets" at Café Reconcile. "America's Hometown Sweets" will feature the nation's best cookies, candies and pies from across the country. Tickets to the event are $40 and can be purchased online at www.roadfood.com/store/foodfest/hometownsweets.

         The free street festival begins Saturday, March 28, and will span four blocks of New Orleans' French Market. A highlight for festival goers is the annual Beignet Eating Contest on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.. The contest pits members of the New Orleans Fire Department against members of the Jefferson Parish Fire Department to see who can eat eight beignets the quickest. The winner will take home the coveted Champion Beignet Eating Belt.

         NOLA FoodFest was born out of popular food blog Roadfood.com in the spring of 2008. Roadfood.com, a path to the nation's edible treasures, remains the premier internet source for discovering authentic regional American food and NOLA FoodFest is a manifestation of this commitment. Originally named Louisiana Roadfood Festival, NOLA FoodFest has grown to encompass a diverse palette of foods, entertainment and family-friendly competition. Follow FoodFest on Facebook at Facebook.com/NOLAFoodFest and on Twitter @NOLAFoodFest. Share your experience with the hashtag #NOLAFoodFest.

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