A vendor prepares sausages at FoodFest at the French Market.
New Orleans has many festivals featuring food trucks and booths run by local restaurants, but what makes Foodfest
a little different is its visiting vendors. The festival includes several events and participants from as far away as Connecticut.
New Haven’s Zuppardi’s Apizza
has dispatched its brand new food truck to the event.
“They’re coming down from New Haven and they’re actually bringing their water down from New Haven,” Foodfest founder Stephen Rushmore says. “They believe their pizza is best with their local water, and so people can get the real, authentic New Haven-style pizza with New Haven water in New Orleans.”
Foodfest's main event is a street festival Saturday and Sunday at the French Market. The festival celebrates casual fare, and local participants include Woody’s Fish Tacos
, Miss Linda Green (serving yakamein), Plum St. Snoballs
, Frencheeze Food Truck
and Antoine’s Restaurant
, which will serve pulled-pork po-boys and baked Alaska. Visiting vendors include Zuppardi’s Apizza, Central BBQ
and Gus’s Fried Chicken
from Memphis, Abbott’s Frozen Custard
from Rochester, New York, Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant from Natchitoches, Louisiana and Rajun Russells from Diberville, Mississippi. Musical entertainment includes the New Breed Brass Band and Mia Borders.
The festival runs from 11 .am. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. There is a beignet-eating contest beginning at 12:30 p.m. Sunday featuring competitors from the New Orleans Fire Department.
America’s Hometown Sweets is a dessert-focused event at 8 p.m. Friday night at Cafe Reconcile
. Attendees can sample moonshine pie from Virginia, local pralines, bourbon milk punch and more. Tickets are $40, and proceeds go to Cafe Reconcile, which provides restaurant industry job training for at-risk youth.
Rushmore founded the festival in 2009 in collaboration with roadfood.com, a website that highlights local food from around the country.
“Initially this event started as a way to bring exposure to [post-Katrina] New Orleans because I felt at the time that there was too much bad press in the city,” Rushmore said. “Every year [roadfood.com
] did a food event in a different city and so that year we decided to do it in New Orleans … once we did it that first year in 2009 it was very successful and we decided to make it a permanent, annual event.”