The Lenten fish fry is a long-running tradition in New Orleans, but not all of these events follow a traditional script. For instance, one coming up next Friday, March 8, won’t be held at a church but rather at a nonprofit urban farm for local high school students, with music, art and a menu with lighter options alongside the fried fish.
The local/healthy food advocate Slow Food New Orleans is hosting this one-night fish fry at Grow Dat Youth Farm, a youth development program operated from City Park with acres of crops and a facility built from stacked, repurposed shipping containers.
The chef Don Boyd, founder of the nonprofit Café Hope, and local Slow Food chapter president Gary Granata are preparing the food along with Moscow 57, a New York entertainment company founded by Ellen Kaye, whose family ran the legendary Russian Tea Room in Manhattan for close to 50 years. Granata and Kaye have been collaborating on pop-up food, music and art events and decided to join forces for a one-of-a-kind fish fry at Grow Dat.
Guests can either buy individual dishes at various stations set up around Grow Dat’s campus or partake in a seated meal served in courses at a “captain’s table” on a balcony overlooking the scene. The menu includes a garden salad, fried catfish over coleslaw, vegetarian gumbo z'herbes, pistachio shrimp kebabs, vegetable kebabs and fish kebabs, sour cherry rice, rose petal and mint yogurt and gelato and sorbetto from La Divina Gelateria. Beer and wine will be for sale.
The night is also billed as an “urban salon” with singer/songwriter Kayte Grace, the Moscow 57 Band, artists including Emilie Rhys and local writer Elsa Hahne, author of the new cookbook “The Gravy—In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians,” all participating in the event.
Admission is $5 (free for Slow Food members), and individual food tickets are $5 each. The seated meal is $50. The fish fry is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
For tickets to the seated dinner, call Don Boyd at (504) 460-4050.
Grow Dat Youth Farm is at 150 Zachary Taylor Dr., between City Bark and Pan-American Stadium.