It seems New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has found a new way to get the public’s attention in the ongoing discussion over the city’s supposed police shortage: Mardi Gras. At a community meeting Thursday night, the Mayor responded to a question about police attrition with a warning: “If you don’t have adequate police, it could mean there will be no Mardi Gras. That’s a fact,” Cantrell said, according to the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate. A lack of law enforcement was cited during last year’s Carnival as the reason for shortened parades and last-minute route changes, some of which proved devastating for bars and restaurants expecting much-needed parade-based business.
Serigne Mbaye’s acclaimed Dakar Nola dinners return for fall
James Beard nominated chef Serigne Mbaye is bringing back Dakar Nola, his nationally acclaimed pop-up, further blending Senegalese cuisine and New Orleans influences alongside Mbaye’s own effective storytelling. The Fall 2022 dinner series will take place September 6 through October 22 at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFab); tickets are $150 per person.
Andrea’s under new ownership in Metairie after nearly 40 years
Chef Andrea Apuzzo sold his standby Italian restaurant, Andrea’s, to new owners this week, reports NOLA.com. After 37 years, the staple for family-friendly fine-dining will take a more modern, upscale approach, reports the newspaper, with new owners embarking on a major renovation but retaining Apuzzo as part of the team.
Leah Chase’s legacy is the subject of new TV series
WYES is creating a 26-episode cooking show focused entirely on the late Leah Chase and her family’s legendary Dooky Chase Restaurant, called The Dooky Chase Kitchen: Leah’s Legacy. Each episode will explore a different element of the history of Chase and the restaurant, which served as a crucial gathering place for Southern organizers during the civil rights movement. The show began filming this summer at the restaurant and features Chase’s grandson, Edgar “Dook” Chase IV, niece Cleo Robinson, her great- granddaughter Zoe Chase, and her granddaughter, Eve Haydel. It’s slated for national release in Spring 2023.
Fried Chicken Festival gets 2022 dates, new location
The beloved National Fried Chicken Festival announced 2022 dates this week, along with a new location and admission fee. The fifth year of the festival will take place at the New Orleans Lakefront October 1 and 2, with a $15 per day ticket fee or a $20 weekend pass; the festival will also be cashless for the first time.
The Popeyes on Carrollton still closed weeks after fire
More than two weeks after the New Orleans fire department responded to the Popeyes at Carrollton Avenue and Earhard Boulevard (3100 S. Carrollton), the restaurant remains boarded up, and was recently listed on Google as “temporarily closed.”
El Pollo Loco is bringing fire-grilled chicken to New Orleans
Joining fellow Southern California fast food chain Jack in the Box, fire-grilled chicken chain El Pollo Loco is planning an expansion in Louisiana (there’s currently just one in Baton Rouge), including in New Orleans. The Costa Mesa-based fast food chain, originally founded in Mexico in the 1970s before opening in the U.S., serves Los Angeles-style Mexican food.