New Orleans Wine & Food Experience: Re-cap

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez. That's the unofficial slogan of New Orleans.

Let the good times roll.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez. That is also how I would sum up the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. It was a culinary whirlwind of food from the cities best restaurants & legendary eateries. Names like Commander's Palace, Galatoire's & Brennan's come to mind & they brought the big guns. The plethora of wine was more than impressive. Meeting the wine makers & winery owners gave it a personal touch that let us enjoy the wine on a whole new level.

The food & wine on Friday was an eye opener as to what was ahead for the whole weekend. As soon as we walked through the door of the ballroom, our senses were bombarded by smells of spicy crab cakes & bubbling bisques. There was a perpetual motion of foodies & wine lovers meandering from booth to booth tasting the treats that were being poured or served. Sounds of people chatting was overcome by the roaming jazz band, playing Dixieland classics. The vibe of the city permeated the generic walls of the two Hilton's ballrooms. If you could see good times rolling, this was it.

It seemed the good times were rolling more so, on Saturday. The food on Saturday was stellar again, with chefs offering different specialties, as well as the previous nights favorites. So much wine was offered I only revisited one table from Friday, The Peachy Canyon booth with owner Doug Beckett pouring. He had some great offerings especially his Jester blend.

Saturday was full of opportunities to eat, taste & learn. The Duck, Duck, Duck Gooch seminar (I swear, that is what is was called) was eye opening to the many ways to prepare duck. It was also interesting to hear hoe duck has come from being a gourmet only food, served in only five star restaurants, to something that is almost as common as chicken. Don't bother with the 'Taste like chicken' similie...because it doesn't.

Besides taking home great memories of wonderful people, fantastic food & stellar wine, there was the chance to soak up as much knowledge about food & wine as humanly possible.

If you are wondering how the city is doing post Katrina, as I know most people are. It is still visibly scarred outside of downtown & even still, it is noticeable to a degree. The real destruction is outside the downtown area, French Quarter & the Warehouse District. There is still plenty to see & do in the city, so if you are thinking about should. Will the Crescent City bounce back....Yes. I feel confident it will. This years attendance record for the NOWFE beat last years numbers. Anyone who knows New Orleans knows it won't be long.

There was so much to see, so much to taste & eat, so much to do. I think next year we will take the entire week off, so we can enjoy the whole five day event.

For the 2006 Fleur De Lis Award winners please click here.

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