With nearly 70 food vendors and over 200 dishes, Jazz Fest isn’t simply a music destination, it’s a foodie paradise. But that makes vendor selection and organization an arduous task.
Fortunately, just the right woman is leading the process. Michelle Nugent has been the Jazz Fest Food Director since 1999 and has a culinary résumé befitting a world-class chef. She spent 17 years working with chef Susan Spicer, first as an apprentice, then as Bayona’s sous chef, and finally as the executive chef at Spice Inc.
Ground crews poured sand around the festival lawns and walkways this morning.
The Fair Grounds were already muddy even before the rain started around noon.
Thursday is known as locals' day, and veteran festival goers had ponchos, umbrellas and rain boots ready to go.
WWNO’s Poppy Tooker, host of Louisiana Eats!, was at the Food and Heritage stage, cooking gumbo for one of the day’s demonstrations. The kitchen is at the far end of the Grandstands, the inside portion of the festival.
As Jazz Fest enters its second day, folks may be waking up this morning a bit haggard from yesterday’s festivities. For those battling the brown bottle blues, fear not: there may be help for you at the Fair Grounds.
Poppy Tooker, host of Louisiana Eats!, says first you’ll need to visit Ms. Linda’s Ya Ka Mein stand, right near the Congo Square Stage.
On average, Jazz Fest adds $300 million to the local economy and is expected to draw nearly half a million attendees this year.
And all of those people need to be fed.
With over 70 food and beverage vendors, Jazz Fest does not disappoint. We spoke with Poppy Tooker, the host of WWNO's Lousiana Eats!, as she went through her annual ritual surveying the food booths at Jazz Fest. We got to preview some of thenewdishes hitting the festival food scene.