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New Orleans’ 2016 James Beard Award Winners!

May 20th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans’ 2016 James Beard Award WinnersThe 2016 James Beard Award Winners were announced earlier in May and New Orleans is proud to have had 14 local chefs/restaurants make it to the semi-finals and, in the end, 3 James Beard Award winners!

Anyone who has been to New Orleans knows how big cuisine is here. Few cities can boast as much food talent, history, and variety as New Orleans and local chefs and restaurants receiving awards for their ingenuity and expertise is nothing new – but these are the James Beard awards.

The James Beard Foundation ( is a national, non-profit, culinary arts organization based in New York City, and named after the “Dean of American Cookery,” legendary food writer, teacher, and cookbook author, James Beard. James Beard Awards are held annually to honor exceptional chefs and journalists and are considered by many the Oscars of the food world.

New Orleans’ 2016 James Beard Award Winners

2016 Lifetime Achievement Award – Chef Leah Chase
James Beard Award Winners - Chef Leah Chase Dooky Chase’s RestaurantLeah Chase is a living legend who has been cooking in New Orleans at Dooky Chase’s since 1946. She helped pioneer the “soul food” genre, was the inspiration for Princess Tiana in Disney’s “Princess and the Frog,” and has garnered numerous previous awards, including the Candace Award, the Freedom Foundation Award, and the NAACP Human Understanding, to name just a few. She was inducted into the James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who in Food & Beverage” in 2010, is the author of the Dooky Chase Cookbook, and was the subject of a biography by Carol Allen: “Leah Chase: Listen, I Say Like This.”
Dooky Chase’s Restaurant – 2301 Orleans Ave. – is known for its incredible array of creole and soul food in a restaurant filled with local art.

Best Chef, South – Justin Devillier
James Beard Award Winners - Chef Justin Devillier - La Petite GroceryNew Orleans Magazine’s 2014 “Chef of the Year,” 35 year-old Chef Justin Devillier is no stranger to accolades. Despite his relative youth, he’s been a finalist for the James Beard Award of “Best Chef: South” three times before, so it was no surprise to see him on the list again – but a real thrill to see him finally take James Beard Award Winners - Chef Justin Devillier - Baliseit home. Known for his lengthy involvement with La Petite Grocery, where he began his N’awlins career in 2003, Devillier has since gone on to own the establishment as well as open another: Balise.
La Petite Grocery – 4238 Magazine St. – is serves up made-from-scratch Louisiana fare in the quaint and intimate surroundings of what was an 1800’s grocery store.
Balise – 640 Carondelet – on the other hand, offers cocktails, wine, and Louisiana fare with a European accent in a warm townhouse setting.

Best New Restaurant- Shaya
New Orleans’ 2016 James Beard Award Winners - ShayaChef Alon Shaya, owner, head chef, and namesake of Shaya is an innovative chef who incorporates influences from North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Greece into his modern Israeli dishes – falafel, kebabs, and baba ganoush. Shaya uses seasonal, locally-sourced and responsibly-grown and harvested ingredients from Louisiana’s abundant local farmers via the Crescent City Farmer’s Market. Like Chef Alon’s other N’awlins restaurants – Domenica and Pizza Domenica – Shaya’s centerpiece is a wood-fired oven. Chef Alon Shaya was the James Beard “Best Chef: South” in 2015 for his work through Domenica, among other honors.
Shaya – 4213 Magazine St

New Orleans Lodging
Food isn’t the only thing New Orleans does right – we also know lodging – and I’m not talking about those stale, impersonal hotels or motels. For real southern hospitality, great breakfasts, lush appointments, and tips on the local scene from someone who knows the area like the back of their hand, stay at an authentic, locally owned and operated New Orleans Bed and Breakfast Inn.

Celebrate Summer with New Orleans June Festivals!

May 9th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans June Festivals

Known as the Festival Capital of the World for good reason, New Orleans always has a celebration of some kind just around the corner or going on right now! With dozens of festivals all year-long, it can be hard to decide which to attend. We’ve put together this guide to New Orleans June Festivals to help you make that decision.

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The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

April 25th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
If you’re a fan of history, medicine, or just interesting collections of unusual and mildly creepy antiques, then a visit to the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is just what the doctor ordered!

You could be excused for thinking that a pharmacy museum sounds a little dull – but before you dismiss it, check out this quote from Rand McNally’s Best of the Road: “Almost every cobbled street in the Big Easy houses some eclectic museum or another, and the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is one of the best.”

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Opa! It’s New Orleans Greek Festival 2016

April 4th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans Greek Festival 2016If you’re a fan of Greek food, drink, culture, and music, then you’ll want to head to Bayou St. John, Memorial Day weekend – May 27th through the 29th – for the 2016 annual New Orleans Greek Festival!

New Orleans is nothing, if not a melting pot of culture. As with many other groups, the Big Easy has long been home to a sizable Greek community. Every year, for the past 43 years, members of this colorful community have put together a festival celebrating one of the Western world’s oldest cultures: The New Orleans Greek Festival.

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Celebrate at Freret Street Festival 2016

March 11th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Freret Street Festival 2016New Orleans’ annual Freret Street Festival is a colorful start to New Orleans’ celebrated festival season, with live music on 3 stages, food & drink, and over 200 vendors: April 2, 2016 – 11am to 6pm.

Held the first Saturday, every April, Freret Street Festival celebrates the street’s lively culture. Considered a gem of the Uptown district, Freret Street is home to singular cocktail bars, eclectic boutiques and galleries, and to-die-for restaurants.

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New Orleans Spring Fiesta 2016

March 1st, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans Spring Fiesta 2016The 80th anniversary of the annual New Orleans Spring Fiesta, March 5-6, 12-13, 2016, is an excellent opportunity to explore the interiors of 20 privately owned, historic New Orleans homes!

Begun in 1937 by the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association, New Orleans Spring Fiesta is a multi-faceted event encompassing the first two weekends of March and celebrating the arrival of spring with a parade of horse-drawn carriages through the French Quarter, historic home tours, a special brunch at Antoine’s Restaurant, and presentation of the Spring Fiesta Queen and her court at Jackson Square.

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Hogs for the Cause 2016

February 12th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Hogs For The Cause 2016, April 1 -2Hogs for the Cause – April 1–2, 2016 – is two days of mouth watering BBQ and foot-stompin’ live music in New Orleans’ City Park, with all proceeds going towards the fight against pediatric brain cancer. Can it get any better?

Hogs for the Cause 2016, marks the 8th annual return of this popular charity barbecue competition and Americana music festival. Held in New Orleans’ City Park, Hogs for the Cause 2016 will once again bring out numerous, 6-person teams – more than 90 registered so far! – to compete in a variety of categories for the honor of being awarded the title of High on the Hog Grand Champion!

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Don’t Miss Buku Music + Art Project 2016

February 5th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Buku Music + Art Project 2016New Orleans’ Buku Music + Art Project, scheduled for March 11-12, 2016, takes its name from “beaucoup,” French for “plenty” – and that’s just what Buku Music + Art Project is: a two-day festival with plenty of live music, eye-popping art, amazing food, and much more.

Held on the New Orleans riverfront, Buku Music + Art Project celebrates pop culture and the New Orleans underground arts community. The festival features local and national acts performing EDM, hip-hop, and sub-genres of indie rock as well as visual artists from around the region and world, and outstanding New Orleans food vendors.

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New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 2016

January 22nd, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

New Orleans' Rock 'n' Roll Marathon LogoThe New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon (formerly the Mardi Gras Marathon), scheduled for February 28, 2016, is one of the most popular of the 800-plus marathons held around the world each year.

An annual event since 1965, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon draws thousands of participants and supporters to New Orleans from all over the world. Originally hosted by the New Orleans Track team as the independent Mardi Gras Marathon, the event was renamed when the Competitor Group took it over in 2010, adding it to their Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series.

Beyond the name and a few other organizational changes, the Mardi Gras / Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is still the same race it has always been: scheduled two weekends before Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras themed, and including a 10K, a full marathon (26 mile 385 yard), and a half marathon.

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Mardi Gras and the Tradition of Twelfth Night

January 12th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Mardi Gras and the Tradition of Twelfth Night - French Quarter at nightNew Orleans Carnival doesn’t kick off without it, yet it is the thread of an ancient practice only recently revived (if 1870 seems recent to you). What is the tradition Twelfth Night?

January 6th may seem like just another day to most folks out there: Christmas and New Year’s Day are passed, so the 6th of January is just another day to get on with. For the devout Christian, however, January 6th is the Feast of the Epiphany, marking the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

In New Orleans it is this as well – but also Twelfth Night: the start of Carnival.

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