The Culinary Stage

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Thursday, April 11, 2024

12:00-12:30 PM - Loretta's Authentic Pralines
1:00-1:30 PM - Walker's Southern Style BBQ
2:00- 2:30 pm - Paco's Tacos
3:00-3:30 PM - Mrs. Wheat New Orleans Meat Pies

Nestled in the historic town of Natchitoches, Louisiana, Mrs. Wheat’s Foods carries forward a century-old culinary tradition that has become synonymous with the warmth and charm of the oldest town in Louisiana. At the heart of this enduring legacy is Mrs. Helen Wheat, whose exceptional recipes have delighted generations and continue to be celebrated in local gift shops, embodying the spirit of Natchitoches through the cherished experiences they offer.

The journey of Mrs. Wheat’s family-owned business began in the late 1970s with the opening of “Wheaty’s Meat Pies & Curly Fries,” a restaurant that quickly became known for its authentic flavors and home of the original Natchitoches Meat Pies, as endorsed by Mayor Joe Sampite in 1985. The unique Louisiana recipes, particularly the renowned “Meat Pies” and “Crawfish Pies,” captivated the community and became local favorites at major events across Louisiana, including the French Quarter Fest, New Orleans Jazz Fest and the 1984 World’s Fair.

Facing increasing demand, Jim Wheat, the visionary son of Mrs. Helen Wheat, expanded the business by opening a new manufacturing facility in New Orleans in 1985, which met the stringent standards of the USDA and FDA. Over four decades, Mrs. Wheat’s Foods has stood as a beacon of culinary excellence in New Orleans, exemplifying the power of family, tradition, and resilience.

Despite the adversity faced during Hurricane Katrina, Mrs. Wheat’s Foods demonstrated remarkable resilience, emerging stronger with a state-of-the-art facility that sets new standards in quality and safety. Today, the legacy of Mrs. Wheat’s Foods is in the hands of Jim Wheat’s children, who carry on the tradition with the same commitment to quality, taste, and Southern hospitality. Each pie not only encapsulates the legacy of the Wheat family but also serves as a testament to their culinary brilliance and the enduring charm of Louisiana’s flavors.

4:00-4:30 pm - Creole Country Cafe
4:45 - 4:55 PM - Happy Hour w/ Chef Kevin Belton & Carla Pesono

Carla Pesono is a New Orleans food personality. She creates social media content for various national and New Orleans food/beverage brands, businesses, and events. Carla also is an award winning journalist with 10+ years of TV production experience being a news anchor/reporter & host of a restaurant segment, Carla’s Kitchen with NBC & ABC affiliates. In 2023, Carla had the honor to compete in MasterChef Season 13 on Fox, representing Buffalo, NY as the first Buffalo native to compete in MasterChef kitchen. Catch Carla judging and emceeing Food Festivals and be sure to give her a follow on social media to see some of the best eats in New Orleans and beyond!

5:00-5:30 pm - Fritai Nola

Friday, April 12, 2024

12:00-12:30 PM - Southerns
1:00-1:30 PM - Sun Chong
2:00-2:30 pm - Kingfish Kitchen & Cocktails
3:00-3:30 PM - LUFU Nola Indian Kitchen
4:00-4:30 PM - Addis Nola
4:45-4:55 PM - Happy Hour with Chef Kevin Belton & Mr.Happy Hour
5:00-5:30 PM - Vaucresson Sausage Co.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

12:00-12:30 PM - Miss River
1:00-1:30 PM - Smoke & Honey
2:00-2:30 PM - Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard
3:00-3:30 PM - Patton's Caterers

Chef Terry, like his siblings, has been working in some  capacity with Patton’s since he was a teenager. Chef  learned his culinary skills from his parents and Creole grandparents as he was growing up in New Orleans. He  

honed those skills at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, California. Chef has seamlessly married modern cuisine concepts with  our classic Creole cookery to established Patton’s Caterers as one of the largest independent caterers in the New Orleans Metro Area. Joining the Patton’s team full time in 1977, Chef leads the teams in the kitchens ensuring that menus are balanced and fulfilled in the most professional and innovative ways possible. To keep Patton’s on the forefront of today’s culinary movements, Chef attends trainings, expos and conferences when the opportunities arise to stay on top of the latest trends.

In 1954, Oliver and Shirley Patton began operating their catering business out of their neighborhood grocery store on Delery Street in the historic ninth ward of New Orleans. They  began supplying trays of hors d’oeurves to be sold in-store; eventually delivering them to  weddings and functions, before being asked to create entire menus for events. As their clientele grew, they began to focus primarily on catering and soon moved their business from the ninth  ward to Chalmette, Louisiana.  

While their children had always worked small jobs at the grocery store on Delery, it was in  Chalmette where the second generation truly came onboard to help the business expand.  Patton’s was successfully located in Chalmette for over forty years until August 29th, 2005 when  Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast. 

Luckily for the Patton family, the business had purchased the Historic Salmen-Fritchie House in  Old Town Slidell in 2002. Able to pull themselves together after dramatic personal and  professional losses, the Patton’s family continues the legacy of Oliver and Shirley today. 

Oliver and Shirley’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are working together to  continue the family legacy to this day, 70 years after Patton’s got its humble start in the ninth  ward.

4:00-4:30 PM - Baroness

Camille Whitworth is the owner and operator of craft  cocktail lounge, Baroness on Baronne, which has been  in New Orleans’ downtown location for more than a  decade. Baroness is the city’s most eclectic and  unique place for an array of small gourmet plates and  an impeccably prepared cocktail. Whitworth is also the  owner and operator of the New Orleans Drink Lab, an  interactive cocktail venue where fun cocktail classes  are taught and the venue serves as an incubator for  bartenders to create specialty cocktails, compete and  fellowship. Drinklab also serves as an event venue for  cocktail inspired events. Whitworth also writes a  cocktail blog, Drink Up Nola, for  

Whitworth and her partner strive to bring in up and  coming bartending talent, giving them a stage in which  to create. 

Whitworth is also a 28-year professional journalist and  creator/CEO of her media company, Media by Design,  which specializes in public speaking, media consulting,  

commercial production and media coaching. Camille  continues her special reporting, emcee work and media  consulting. She can currently be seen on WWLTV  (CBS) as television host of the Healthy Lifestyles  Segment presented by East Jefferson General 

Hospital. Whitworth worked for NBC affiliates for 27  years and was the main anchor at WDSU New Orleans  (NBC) for 14 years.

4:45-4:55 PM - Happy Hour w/ Chef Kevin Belton & Abita Beer
5:00-5:30 PM - 14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant

Sunday, April 14, 2024

12:00-12:30 PM - Theaudric's Real Clever Cuisines
1:00-1:30 PM - TJ Gourmet
2:00-2:30 PM - Boulevard American Bistro
3:00-3:30 PM - Nori Guys
4:00-4:30 PM - Desire Oyster Bar
4:45-4:55 PM - Happy Hour w/ Chef Kevin Belton & Meet Me at the Bar

Founders of Me At The Bar, LLC, Chanté “Ce” McDonald and Ciara “CeCe” Coleman’s journey began during their college days at Alabama A&M University. However, it wasn’t until fate brought them to the vibrant city of New Orleans, LA, that their friendship truly flourished over the clink of cocktail glasses.

With an unwavering passion for cocktails and a penchant for social connections, Chanté and Ciara have embarked on a mission to redefine the drinking experience for the contemporary, multicultural millennial generation. Their paths converged to create a space where people meet, spirits are discovered, and conversations flow.

Chanté and Ciara aim to transcend the ordinary, fostering connections and curating immersive experiences. Through Meet Me At The Bar, they’re not just introducing new spirits and innovative cocktails but crafting a narrative that celebrates the rich tapestry of cultures while showcasing the finest establishments.

Embracing the belief that exceptional libations and meaningful conversations forge indelible memories and lasting connections, Chanté and Ciara are igniting a movement that speaks to the heart of every cocktail enthusiast.

5:00-5:30 PM - Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel

Pastry Chef Autumn Heckman grew up in upstate New York and was drawn to baking and pastry since the early age under her mom’s influence. Her culinary career took her around the country and brought her to New Orleans a few years ago. Chef AutumN has been on the Rib Room team for about two and a half years, crafting seasonal desserts and participating in food events around the city. Her passion for the craft has secured her NOWFE silver medal two years in a row, in both 2022 and 2023. 

Chef Autumn is excited to be featured on the French Quarter Fest Culinary Stage this year and is looking forward to presenting one of her signature dishes, Crepes Suzette. This classic will be enhanced in Chef Autumn’s special way, transforming it into Crepes Royal!  Only those who come by to see her demo will know how she makes it Royal!!

The Rib Room is located at the fashionable corner of Royal and St. Louis streets, inside the historic Omni Royal Orleans hotel. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served 7 days a week with the Jazz Brunch being offered on Saturdays and Sundays. Rib Room is best known for the rotisserie Prime Rib, steaks, and seafood. Complimentary petite cookies, pralines and $2 Washbucket Martinis are offered every Friday as a long-standing French Quarter tradition.