It began as an intimate day-long festival with a handful of chefs and winemakers involved. Now, it has grown into a five-day devotion to all things edible and drinkable, pulling a cachet of discerning customers who come to both challenge and entertain their tastebuds. Better yet, as a non-profit organisation, 100 per cent of proceeds go to causes which support food education.
Highlights include the Grand Tasting where over 1000 USA and international vintages are served alongside delicious eats from local chefs. An obvious crowd favourite is the Big Gateaux Pastry Competition, which brings burlesque, pastries and cocktails together for an evening of sweet, debaucherous entertainment. Sassy dancers and towers of chocolate 1.5 metres tall? Yes, please. For those who wish to gain some food and drink knowledge, there are also vintner dinners, seminars and produce market trips hosted by chefs.
WORDS OF WISDOM
- Book ahead. Popular events like the Royal Street Stroll through New Orleans’ French Quarter are difficult to gain entry to on the day and tickets come at a discounted price if one secures a place in advance.
- Count the pennies. Saying yes to everything might seem like a good idea at the time, but each event is individually priced and ticketed for. Decide what’s most interesting and budget accordingly.
- Interested in wine? At the Grand Tasting, drink whites before reds and sample the more expensive, higher-quality wines at the start of the day. This is especially relevant for the champagne, a tipple that’s notorious for running out early on in the day.