The Best of the Big Easy and Beyond: The 2015 New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, 2015

In a city famous for great food, lots of drinking, and revelry, the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience offered revelers the opportunity to enjoy much great food, drinking, and revelry. The 2015 New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE) took place May 20 through May 23. Now in its 23rd year, the festival showcased the area’s culinary culture and talent, as well as more than 1,000 wines from around the globe.

Dine and Drink for a Good Cause

The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience is a nonprofit organization. All profits are donated to groups and institutions in support of culinary education in the community, as well as other charitable organizations. NOWFE has already gifted more than $1 million to local nonprofits.

This year, festival beneficiaries included The SoFAB Institute (The Southern Food and Beverage Museum), Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) culinary arts program, the Delgado Community College School of Culinary Arts, the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s ProStart program, and the University of New Orleans School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism.

And now, highlights from the 2015 New Orleans Wine and Food Experience:

Wednesday, May 20

The festivities bean at 7:00 pm with “Food Fashion Fusion: The Billy Reid Dinner Series presented by The Local Palate.” Chef Ryan Prewitt of Pêche Seafood Grill in New Orleans teams up with two guest chefs from Charleston, SC—Mike Lata of FIG and The Ordinary and Kevin Johnson of The Grocery—to serve a four-course dinner with wine pairings.

In addition, 26 highly regarded New Orleans restaurants hosted their own intimate wine dinners as part of the opening celebration. A different participating winery is featured at each location. See the full list of restaurants, wineries, and menus at nowfe.com/events#wine-dinners.

Thursday, May 21

At 2:00 pm, “Vinola!” offered samples of rare and high-priced wines from more than 20 international wineries. Then, at 5:30, check out the “Royal Street Stroll.” It’s a street party on Royal St., and guests can check out the merchants, shop for unique art and antiques, listen to live jazz, and indulge in fine wines and delicious foods at the tents and tables set up all along the way.

Friday, May 22

The “Grand Tasting” started at 6:00 pm. This main event makes more than 1,000 wines and food from more than 75 renowned local chefs available to taste. There’s also “The Big Gateaux Show” which began at 9:00 pm, a pastry competition featuring burlesque and cocktails, as all pastry competitions should.
Saturday, May 23

The “Grand Tasting” continued on Saturday, starting at 2:00 pm. The 8th annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-off took place during the event, when 10 top chefs from around the state competed for the coveted title of “King of Louisiana Seafood.”

If you missed this year’s NOWFE, make plans now to attend the 24th New Orleans Wine and Food Experience in May of 2016 and enjoy a taste of New Orleans over one delicious, decadent week in the Big Easy.

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Eric Mohrman is a freelance travel and food writer. Coincidentally, he enjoys traveling, eating, drinking, and writing. He lives in downtown Orlando and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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