Phil Roeder / Flickr

The first ever Beignet Fest is coming to Lafayette Square on October 8, and apart from gourmet beignets and great music, the festival’s cause provides even one more reason to come out and spread the powdered sugar. Founders Amy and Sherwood Collins started the festival as a way to support programs for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Sherwood joins NolaVie’s Brian Friedman in the studio for a behind-the-scenes look at Beignet Fest 2016.  

Fried chicken from McHardy's Chicken & Fixin' in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

Fried chicken gets people fired up, and I don’t just mean hungry. But why? I’ve done some digging, and some digging in, and I’ve found a few reasons, beyond the simple fact that it’s delicious.

The timing is important. Fried chicken is top of mind in New Orleans right now because this Sunday, Sept. 25, the new Fried Chicken Festival debuts downtown, in Lafayette Square. 

Rafael Saddy
Rafael Saddy / Nicaraguan Association of Louisiana

 The 6th annual Kenner Hispanic Fest is June 11th and 12th.  “You’re going to find Hondurans, you’re going to find folks from the Caribbean, you’re going to find folks from Central America, and from the U.S.” said Rafael Saddy, event coordinator of the Nicaraguan Association of Louisiana (ANDELA).  “This festival’s purpose was to integrate not only the Hispanic community as one community but also share with the entire community to come in for a day of family fun, music, and food.”

Grilled shrimp with crunchy vegetables makes for a modern po-boy from Killer PoBoys in the French Quarter
Ian McNulty

To have great po-boys, you need someone who can make the bread just right. You need someone with a good line on affordable, high-quality seafood and someone with no fear about perhaps applying too much roast beef gravy. The other essential ingredient is the customer with a local palate, the customer who will disregard national ad campaigns and coupons and bypass a rogue's gallery of fast food brands to get to a respectable po-boy shop.

Eve Troeh / WWNO

Crowds filled the Fairgrounds as the 46th annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival started its annual seven days of festing.

From a homegrown showcase for local talent, Jazz Fest has grown to include top national pop stars (which the festival officially calls “guest artists") alongside New Orleans' favorite jazz, blues, rock, gospel, hip hop, brass band and other talent. The nonprofit Jazz and Heritage Foundation has produced the festival in partnership with international production company AEG since 2004.

Paul Cheney

A spirit of competition and creative excess is helping a local charity cook-off grow bigger and better, and in ways beyond the food offerings.

Emily Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

Last weekend, Spring Break vibes descended upon the riverfront in the form of neon, midriffs and pounding bass. The BUKU Music and Art Project swarmed Mardi Gras World with big names like STS9, TV On the Radio, and A$AP Rocky, and more underground acts like Run the Jewels and Odesza, for a mostly collegiate (and younger) crowd to rejoice in. 

Central Louisiana’s regional food summit, Foodapalooza, is set Friday, Feb. 27, and organizers expect it to attract about 200 people.

The day-long event in Alexandria will feature seminars, such as planting a profitable garden for farmer’s markets, an introduction to worm casting, and developing food hubs. John Cotton Dean, regional food systems planner for the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, anticipates the third annual event will be the largest one yet.

Laurie / Flickr

Elton John, The Who, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga will headline this year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

The festival annually draws hundreds of thousands to New Orleans for two weekends of jazz, blues, Cajun, zydeco and gospel. The lineup draws heavily from Louisiana but it's accented with national acts. This year they will also include No Doubt, Keith Urban, Pitbull, John Legend, Ed Sheeran and Chicago.