Annual event showcases N.O. food

Awards, seminars, wine, tastings part of Experience activities

Photo provided -- The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience's Royal Street Stroll offers participants a chance to shop in antique galleries while enjoying live jazz and wine offerings at each stop.
Photo provided -- The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience's Royal Street Stroll offers participants a chance to shop in antique galleries while enjoying live jazz and wine offerings at each stop.

Some of the country’s hottest chefs are in New Orleans to experience the city’s food and fun as part of the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience.

Running through Saturday, the 21st year of NOWFE will celebrate the lifetime achievements of Leah Chase and entertain crowds of food and wine connoisseurs at various events, including Thursday’s Royal Street Stroll, where participants can taste wines and listen to live jazz while shopping along Royal Street in the French Quarter, and the Vinola Tasting, where wine enthusiasts can mingle in the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel Ballroom with winemakers while sampling offerings from about 40 elite wineries.

Friday and Saturday offer plenty to do, too. There are seminars about what’s new in wine and food, Grand Tastings in which 175 wineries and 75 chefs will participate, the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off and the second year of The Gateaux Show, a burlesque-themed pastry competition and tasting.

Here are some of the highlights:

The nonprofit John Besh Foundation also will award the John Besh and Bride Mayor Chefs Move! Scholarships for Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts for the International Culinary Center in New York.

Chef Cody Carroll, of Hot Tails Restaurant in New Roads, and chef Troy Deano, of 18 Steak at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge, are among the 10 chefs from top restaurants across Louisiana competing for the coveted title.

In the past 20 years, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience has raised more than $1 million for nonprofit organizations, its organizers said.

The 2013 beneficiaries are Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s ProStart Program, Delgado Culinary Arts School, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts’ Culinary Program, the John Folse Culinary Institute and the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans.

ON THE INTERNET:

http://www.nowfe.com.