M Bistro at the Ritz-Carlton scored the "Best in Show: Sweet" award at the 2016 New Orleans Food & Wine Experience with pastry chef Ravindra Verma's "Bahibe Caramel Chocolate Napoleon." (©NOWFE)
What's cooking in the Crescent City during May? Plenty. Here are four fun food fetes to whet your appetite.
NOLA Crawfish Festival
Mudbug fans get their fill May 1-3 during this second-annual chow down. Chris “Shaggy” Davis and his NOLA Crawfish King crew team up with NOLA Brewery and Central City BBQ to serve specialty brews, killer ’cue and more than 5,000 pounds of fresh-boiled crawdads. Twenty teams battle it out in the “Ultimate Crawfish Cook-Off,” while a gumbo of local musicians performs each day from 3 to 10 pm. This year’s lineup includes Ivan Neville, Eric Lindell, George Porter Jr., Grammy winner Jon Cleary and dozens of others.
Hungry for more? Head to the University of New Orleans May 13 for the city’s largest crawdad cook-off, where 50-plus teams boil up 10 sacks each—and you get to try them all. All-day, all-you-can-eat crawfish coupled with live music and local art make for one great afternoon along the lakefront. Big appetite? Sign up for the “Peel N’ Eat” competition.
New Orleans Wine & Food Experience
This annual foodie favorite pops the cork on 25 years of cheers and culinary celebration May 25-28. The fun kicks off with top-notch tastings from world-renowned vintners, followed by a vino-fueled stroll along Royal Street, and culminates with the Big Gateaux Show, an over-the-top pastry competition-meets-burlesque revue. In between are seminars and symposiums geared to connoisseurs, wine-themed dinners at restaurants citywide and the Grand Tasting at Mardi Gras World, featuring more than 1,000 vintages and blue-ribbon dishes by 75 of the city’s top chefs.
New Orleans Greek Festival
Pastitsio, souvlaki, tiropita, keftedes, loukoumades, baklava, galatocouriko, kourambiedes; it’s all Greek—and delicious sounding—to us. Held on the grounds of the nation’s oldest Greek Orthodox Church May 26-28, this Hellenic hoedown is worth seeking out and saving stomach space for. Pomegranate daiquiris and ouzo Jello shots? Opa!