The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival announced details for the 2023 festival this week, and there’s one major update (besides no crawfish bread for the first time in 35 years): the whole festival is cashless. Jazz Fest is framing it as getting on board with “most other large-scale special events and entertainment venues” but it’s certainly a controversial policy, particularly when it comes to how food vendors operate, and there is speculation that it was a factor in Panorama Foods’ decision not to participate as a vendor selling its crawfish, sausage, and shrimp breads at the festival moving forward. There will be cash exchange booths throughout the festival.
Jazz Fest also released its full 2023 culinary lineup, and while most vendors remain in place, a few big names (in addition to Panorama) will not make an appearance this year: Jamila’s Cafe, Bennachin, and Canseco’s Market. There is also a small number of first-time vendors: Puerto Rican pop-up Fowlmouth NOLA will join Carmo at one of its booths, and Keyala’s Pralines will be selling sweet treats.
Roof fire shuts down Faubourg Brewing
Faubourg Brewing is set to reopen on Saturday, April 1 after the New Orleans Fire Department responded to a two-alarm fire at the New Orleans East taproom the night of Friday, March 24. The popular family-friendly brewery (formerly known as Dixie Beer) is owned by Gayle Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, and recently merged with three other Southeast breweries, taking on their production. Faubourg says it’s spent the last week cleaning up from the fire, but will reopen on Saturday with spring events like crawfish boils and art markets.
Willa Jean pastries head to Metairie
BRG Hospitality (formerly known as the John Besh Restaurant Group) has purchased the Larder, a Metairie market and deli opened by Alison Vega-Knoll and Chris Wilson in 2020, reports the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate. It’s the second restaurant Vega-Knoll has sold in recent weeks — Station 6, her hit Bucktown seafood restaurant she opened with her husband Drew Knoll, was sold to proprietor Aaron Burgau earlier this year. BRG, which owns leading New Orleans restaurants like August, Domenica, and Shaya, will keep the Larder mostly the same, but it will become a second outlet for the breads and pastries from Willa Jean, the popular restaurant and bakery also owned by the group.
Turkey and the Wolf opens community fridge
Enduringly popular LGD sandwich shop Turkey and the Wolf debuted its own community fridge outside the restaurant this week, created with the help of New Orleans Community Fridges and several other community organizations. The restaurant has offered customers the ability to “pay it forward” and contribute to its weekly distribution of community meals since the start of the pandemic, generally supporting mutual aid networks and opportunities throughout the last few years. The fridge opened fully stocked with fried chicken meals courtesy of the restaurant.