Thursday at The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been in the Crescent City, enjoying the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE), a 5 day long epicurien blow out. NOWFE celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, as a fund raiser for several regional organizations fighting hunger and supporting culinary education.
The feasting began on Tuesday evening with the Ella Brennan Award Dinner, and various of the city’s best known restaurants continued through Wednesday and Thursday by hosting a series of wine dinners. For me the festivities began on Thursday, with a welcoming media reception at the Carousel Bar of the historic Monteleone Hotel. The bar (and yep- it’s called Carousel because that’s what it is) has had a face lift since I peeked in at it last August while attending IFBC NOLA. Not only was the bar quite impressive, but the excellent food, wine and wonderful service we received there were standouts, too.
Some of my fellow attendees included Liz Williams (Founder and Director of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum), and Ron Ben-Israel, renown cake decorator who flew in from New York to participate, and as you can see jumped right into the spirit of New Orleans.
Then we took to the street for the Royal Street Stroll. Rue Royal, the traditional “main drag” of the Vieux Carré, is filled with antique shops and boutiques (who opened their doors to us), and perhaps more ornate ironwork than any street in the Quarter. On Thursday night, it also was full of food and drink vendors eager to share their taste with us. And since it was New Orleans, there were also great street musicians, too. My favorite – The G-String Orchestra.
My favorite bites- the Barbecued Oysters from Drago’s (grilled on their very own hook and ladder truck) and the Shrimp with Stone Ground Grits from The Pelican Club.
Oh, and what would any New Orleans celebration be without a krewe marching through the streets. For tonight- who else- The Krewe of Cork, along with The Cork Poppers Marching Band.