New events highlight New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

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Spend a day fishing on the Louisiana bayou with chef Donald Link during the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. - COURTESY NOWFE
  • COURTESY NOWFE
  • Spend a day fishing on the Louisiana bayou with chef Donald Link during the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience.

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is May 26-29. Now in its 24th year, the four-day eating and drinking extravaganza features chefs, winemakers and industry professionals in a series of events and dinners. 

Returning events include the drinking and snacking walk, the Royal Street Stroll, and a Grand Tasting at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, and a series of smaller events include a guest chef-led tours, dinners and seminars that provide guests with more intimate experiences. Many events sell out quickly, but here are a few experiences where tickets are still available.

Midnight Mangia

MoPho and Tana chef Michael Gulotta and Avo chef Nick Lama host a night of Sicilian-inspired street food to celebrate New Orleans Italian heritage. In the early 1900s, the French Quarter, also known as 'Little Palermo', was home to a large number of Italian immigrants, many of whom had Sicilian roots (both Gulotta and Lama have Sicilian ancestors and cook dishes influenced by their own heritage at their respective restaurants).

On May 27, following the Royal Street Stroll, the chefs hold a pop-up from 11 p.m. till 1 a.m., at a secret location. They will serve their takes on Sicilian street food snacks and Compere Lapin’s Abigail Gullo will mix specialty cocktails featuring the Italian spirits Campari, Aperol and Frangelico.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at the door. For more information on the venue, follow NOWFE on social media.

Hong Kong Phoodie

On May 29, Root and Square Root chef Phillip Lopez and Oscar Ycaza, also of Square Root, and a group of guests will head to the West Bank’s revered Asian grocery complex Hong Kong Food Market for a shopping tour. Guests can pick Lopez' brain as they are led through the massive market, pausing to touch, smell and taste seasonable items that will be brought back and used to cook a multi-course lunch. Tickets for the tour and lunch, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., are $110 and can be purchased here. 

Chef Phillip Lopez leads a shopping tour of Hong Kong Food Market.
  • Chef Phillip Lopez leads a shopping tour of Hong Kong Food Market.

Cast Iron Chef

Spend the day fishing on the bayou with Donald Link and Garth Hodgson of Krug Champagne while learning about the region’s seafood and wildlife. The May 26 trip starts at 5 a.m. with a pickup at downtown cafe Merchant, where guests will get a complimentary cup of coffee before departing. Guests will spend the day fishing and drinking champagne, and will get an early afternoon break before returning to Link’s Warehouse District restaurant Cochon , where the day's catch will be prepared by Link and his team and served for dinner with champagne pairings. Tickets are a whopping $850, which includes the chartered boat, all fishing equipment, refreshments and dinner. Click here to purchase tickets for the event.

Flour Power

Learn all about baking bread and how the artisan bakery movement is taking shape in New Orleans in a tour of Bellegarde Bakery from owner Graison Gill and Gracious Bakery owner and pastry chef Megan Forman. During the May 28 tour, which runs from noon to 1:30 p.m., guests will hear from Gill and Forman on their respective baking techniques and bread recipes. French Truck Coffee founder Geoffrey Meeker will provide coffee and sample breads from both bakers will be paired with Italian wines. Tickets to the bakery tour are $65 and can be purchased here.

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