March 28-30, 2014
Turn on your appetite and get ready to feast! The 6th Annual FoodFest, formerly known as the New Orleans Roadfood Festival, is coming back to New Orleans for a full weekend of “America’s Best Hometown Eats” from March 28-30.
The historic French Market is the place to be for this weekend of food and fun. Admission to the event is free, and the festivities take place between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday. FoodFest attendees can sample the hometown eats from more than three-dozen hometown eateries from New Orleans and around the country.
Four blocks of the French Market will be lined a wide variety of culinary specialties ranging from
- New Orleans seafood gumbo
- South Louisiana Cajun gumbo
- Texas barbecue
- Southwestern tamales
- And much more...
After you’re done eating, you can wash it all down with a refreshing, Southern-style mint julep or an iced coffee or a beer.
FoodFest is a tribute to the unique, informal fare found in village cafes, city neighborhoods, shoreline seafood shacks, barbecue parlors, chicken dinner halls, pie palaces, and food trucks. Each food offering is a great American classic, cooked and served by the culinary artists who often follow recipes handed down from previous generations: age-old, tried-and-true formulas that give each dish its distinctive flavor and quality.
Renowned the world over for its culinary reputation, New Orleans is the ideal place for staging a festival dedicated to "America's Hometown Eats." FoodFest de-emphasizes fast food served by franchise operations and haute cuisine specialties served by pricey, upscale restaurants. The festival prefers, instead, to feature "authentic regional American food;” food items eaten by the average person at generally affordable prices.
Begun in 2009 as the New Orleans Roadfood Festival and held primarily on Royal Street in the French Quarter, the festival changed its name and location in its fifth year. Now known as FoodFest, it moved to the French Market in 2013 and expanded its range of offerings.
FoodFest is a joint venture of Roadfood.com, founded in 2000 by Stephen Rushmore and Jane and Michael Stern, and the New Orleans Convention Company. For more information about the event, visit the Food Fest’s website or call (504) 888-7608.
America’s Hometown Sweets Opening Night
FoodFest weekend kicks off with “America's Hometown Sweets Opening Night” on Friday, March 28. The nation's best chocolates, cookies, candies, cakes, pies, and other delicious sweets will be offered at Café Reconcile from 8-10 p.m.
The opening event gives guests an unprecedented opportunity to sample, compare and contrast regional taste in desserts and other tantalizing sweets. The Blue Plate Award will be presented to a chef who has made a unique contribution to America's regional food.
Admission to this special, opening night party to benefit the Café Reconcile, a local nonprofit organization is $50 and can be purchased on the Roadfood website.
About Café Reconcile
Café Reconcile is one of the primary nonprofit charitable beneficiaries of the FoodFest. Located in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans, Café Reconcile provides at-risk youth in the community an opportunity to learn life and interpersonal skills and operational training for successful entry into the hospitality and restaurant industries.
To learn more about Cafe Reconcile, please visit www.cafereconcile.com
Beignet Eating Contest
The Beignet Eating Contest is one of the much-anticipated highlights of FoodFest. This year the contest will be held on Sunday, March 30 from 1:00-1:30 p.m. in the French Market.
For the uninitiated, a beignet is a fried, hollow pastry that is served hot and topped with a heaping helping of powdered sugar. Beignets are often served with café au lait (coffee with milk) in eateries such as Café du Monde and Morning Call. Don’t be alarmed if you get powdered sugar on your clothes: it’s all part of the fun of eating beignets and it wipes off easily with a little water.
This year, once again, the New Orleans Fire Department will field a team of its top eaters to determine who can eat the most beignets in the least amount of time. Whereas most people consume the city's beloved silky doughnuts in servings of two or three, the uniformed men devour them by the dozen in this fast-paced contest. The winning team takes home the World Champion Beignet Eating Belt.
This year, for the first time, the contest is open to all who have the appetite and courage to compete in the Beignet Big League. Admission to the Beignet Eating Contest is free.
Two of the French Quarter’s finest hotels are offering special discounted rates for visitors during this year’s FoodFest. The Hotel Monteleone, located in the 200 block of picturesque Royal Street, has lowered its standard room rate to $199 per night, which includes free internet service for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
To book a room at the Hotel Monteleone call 1-800-217-2033 and ask for the “FoodFest Block” or book online at the Hotel Monteleone’s booking site.
The Bienville House, located at 320 Decatur Street, is also offering a discounted rate of $159 per night for FoodFest attendees. This offer also includes free internet and continental breakfast.
To book a room at Bienville House call 1-800-535-7836 and ask for the "FoodFest Block” or book online through the Bienville House’s booking site.