It's normal to see chefs making the rounds at local farmers markets, but on the evening of May 20 there should be many on hand at Hollygrove Market & Farm (8301 Olive St., 504-483-7037; www.hollygrovemarket.com) and 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 small-scale farmers and food producers and an education center. Since its formation 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 the annual fundraiser on a Monday to make it easier for chefs and restaurant staff to participate, says 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. Participating restaurants range from high-end spots like Patois, Iris and Martinique Bistro to Gracious Bakery & Cafe, Pizza Delicious and Killer Po-Boys. The drinks portion of the Party in the Garden this year showcases the growing number of locally produced products for the bar.
The party is from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and includes music by the Honey Island Swamp Band Trio with Alvin Youngblood Hart. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door.
Proceeds support Hollygrove's educational programming, including a kids garden currently in development, and the market's overall operation. Hollygrove will be open daily beginning June 1. Visit www.hollygrovemarket.com for event details.