West for East
For those of you who (like me) assumed the West Bank had the corner on Asian markets, check out Kenner's Asian Gourmet Market (3239 Williams Blvd., 466-0077). The spread of Vietnamese ingredients isn't as extensive as the largest Gretna-area stores provide, but Asian Gourmet leads the pack in Japanese wares. A variety of pickled vegetables, seaweed and squid salads, wasabi caviar and smelt roe line one refrigerated case. A nearby freezer is stocked with green tea and azuki ice cream. I'm going back for a case of pulpy Korean mandarin orange juice sold cold alongside Thai iced tea, guanabana and coconut juices.
A tribute to one of Louis Armstrong's greatest loves, Red Bean Alley is the food arena at this weekend's Satchmo Summerfest. Among more predictable dishes, China Blossom (1801 Stumpf Blvd., Gretna 361-4598) is serving sweet red beans with whipped cream, and Praline Connection (542 Frenchman St., 943-3934) will deliver red bean lasagna. For the weekend's details, visit www.satchmosummerfest.com or call 522-5730.
Fun With Fungus
Wednesday, Aug. 8, marks Marisol's (437 Esplanade Ave., 943-1912) first annual, weeklong Fungus Fest. Chef Pete Vazquez is creating fungus feasts between creamed morel lagniappes and "Toadstool Cakes" with chocolate sauce for dessert. As usual, Chef Pete has studied his wine pairings for the fest as rigorously as he's prepared for the fungus preparations. Join the chef and guest speakers on fungi and wine at 7 p.m. on opening night. The six-course dinners are $85 all-inclusive. Call also about the down-home Southern dinners planned during Satchmo Summerfest and live entertainment by Jewel Hazel Brown.
This Thursday's tasting at Martin Wine Cellar (714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7300) is titled "Ten Years After: California 1991 Vintage Revisited." The cost is $45 per person.
At 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 31, the Crescent City Farmers Market is featuring a cooking demonstration by Chef Christine Nicosia, an instructor at the Delgado Culinary Institute. On the following Saturday, Aug. 4, the local Slow Food convivium formally will induct the Mauthe Family's Creole cream cheese onto Slow Food's Ark USA (an endangered-species list for food). At 10 a.m., culinary educator and local convivium leader Poppy Tooker will prepare frozen Creole cream cheese. The Tuesday market is located at 200 Broadway St. and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Saturday market is located at 700 Magazine St. and runs from 8 a.m. to noon. For more info, call 861-5898, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.loyola.edu/ccfm. -- Roahen