by Ian McNulty
It’s normal to see chefs making the rounds at local farmers markets, but on the evening of May 20 there should be a bumper crop of them on hand at Hollygrove Market & Farm for its annual Party in the Garden.
The event is an important fundraiser for Hollygrove, a nonprofit that functions as an urban farm, a market for other small-scale farmers and food producers and an education center. Since forming in 2008, Hollygrove has developed a distribution network with local restaurants, and at least 20 of them will be on hand for the event, serving food prepared in part with local produce.
Hollygrove schedules this annual fundraiser on a Monday to make it easier for chefs and restaurant staff to participate, explains Bill Pastellak, the market’s director of operations, and in past years the event has had the air of a restaurant industry meet-and-greet. Certainly, the restaurants lined up for this year’s edition cut a wide swath across the scene, ranging from high-end spots like Patois, Iris and Martinique Bistro to Gracious Bakery & Café, Pizza Delicious and Killer Po-Boys, an innovative sandwich maker based in the back of the Erin Rose Irish pub.
The drinks portion of the Party in the Garden this year showcases the growing number of locally-produced products for the bar, including Old New Orleans Rum, Cathead Vodka (of Jackson, Miss.), Mid-City-based absinthe maker Atelier Vie, Thibodeaux’s Donner-Peltier Distillers and Bittermens, a maker of cocktail bitters that recently relocated from Brooklyn to New Orleans.
The Party in the Garden includes live and silent auctions and a performance by local roots-rockers the Honey Island Swamp Band Trio with Alvin Youngblood Hart.
The party is from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door.
Proceeds will help support Hollygrove’s educational programming, including a kids garden now in development, and the market’s overall operation. In related news, beginning June 1 Hollygrove will expand its hours to open every day.
Hollygrove Market & Farm
8301 Olive St., (504) 483-7037