MORE THAN 7,000 GASTRONOMES DESCEND ON THE FRENCH QUARTER TO EXPERIENCE LE BON TEMP ROULLETTE!
Story and photos by Dwight Casimere
Revelers let the Good Times Roll! at the Royal Street Stroll
Dwight The Wine Doctor with Jennifer Wall-Winemaker at Barefoot Cellars
by Dwight Casimere
There's no question that the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience is the undisputed start of the summer Wine and Food Festival scene. Beginning with the Royal Street Stroll on Opening Night, with the Krewe of Cork leading a Second Lin traditional New Orleans Jazz Band, marching lazily down Royal Street and snaking its way through the French Quarter, this is the start of perhaps the country's largest moveable feast.
More that 50 wineries from across the globe and 60 restaurants from every nook and cranny of New Orleans, strutted their stuff before more than 7,000 gourmands and wine enthusiasts who traveled from hither and yon for the experience. Brennan's, Broussards, and the Court of Two Sisters were among the New Orleans legends who sent their best chefs to prepare exquisite gourmet dishes for participants at both the Stroll and the Grand Tasting events, held over two days at the Morial Convention Center. Emerald Lagasse, celebrity chef and television personality and proprietor of his landmark namesake restaurant in the Garden District, was awarded this year's Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award.
Some of the finest wines to be had on the planet were poured at both The Stroll and the Grand Tastings; Barefoot Cellars, with winemaker Jen Wall on the sidelines, celebrating a birthday, Stella Wines, Constellation Brands, Grand Cru Selections, Jordan Winery, Dry Creek Vineyards, just to name a few of the more than 50 winery groups represented.
Immersive experiences included opportunities to blend your own wine cuvee, learn the proper methods of aging and preparing prime aged steaks from a Master Chef, Sausage Making from a James Beard Award-winning chef and a Cellar Stroll through the French Quarter's most famous restaurant wine calls, The Experience also included a dazzling selection of wine pairing dinners at some of the city's top restaurants, such as R'evolution at the Royal Sonesta, with star-chef Rick Tramanto coming in all the way from Chicago to preside over a multi-course pairing meal with the wines of Ancient Oaks Cellars and Bistreaux at the Maison Dupuy with Executive Chef Matt Regan and Selby Winery.
Here are some scenes from highlights of the NOWFE weekend.
Corey Jenkins, Banquet Chef (l) Executive Chef Jeff Mattia (c)
Rick Tramanto of Chicago-Co-founder R'evolution Restaurant