There are a couple of events coming up that are of note to those who enjoy food. I know that in New Orleans that’s like saying “there’s a weekend coming up,” but the two events I have in mind are outside of the ordinary.
First, there’s the fourth annual Moonlight Market, which will be held in the warehouse of the Contemporary Arts Center on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 7-10 p.m. The event is put on by Market Umbrella, operator of the Crescent City Farmers Market, and for that reason alone deserves our attention. The Market has, for many years, put local producers in touch with local consumers. It’s one of the best places to buy produce, seafood, poultry and meat in town, which is why you’ll often see local chefs there if you arrive early enough.
But there’s more to it than that; here’s an excerpt from the press release announcing the event:
Proceeds from the fundraiser go to support Market Umbrella’s ongoing programs. In addition to operating the CCFM four days a week, Market Umbrella manages several health and wellness and educational programs helping local residents lead healthier lifestyles, including Meet Me at the Market, an educational outreach program supporting field trips for school-aged children to visit the market where they learn where their food comes from and how to eat healthy and locally; Market Match, which matches SNAP purchases at the market dollar-for-dollar up to $20; and the Market Momma’s Club, the organization’s latest addition, which works with nursing mothers and provides WIC recipients with $80 to purchase fresh produce each month.
Attending this event would be worth it for the cause alone, but here’s another excerpt from the release, which I believe provides further incentive to attend:
Moonlight Market will feature more than 30 bars and restaurants that shop with the Crescent City Farmers Market. Guests will enjoy food and drinks from restaurants such as Bittersweet Confections, Broussard’s, Clancy’s, Commander’s Palace, Dante’s Kitchen, DTB, Emeril’s, Frencheeze Food Truck, Marjie’s Grill, Maypop, Meauxbar, Patois, Public Service, Sac-a-Lait, Shaya, St. James Cheese Co., and more.
So, yeah. Those are all great restaurants/purveyors, and there are multiple options for tickets. You may also note that one of the purveyors is Shaya, and as I understand it, chef Alon Shaya will be there. Just saying…
Equally of note, Tchouptoberfest will go forward on Sunday, Oct. 1. It’s the most recent event whereby stupid-talented and also ridiculously nice chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski work to raise funds for the not-coincidentally named Link Stryjewski Foundation.
The event will take place at Cochon Restaurant, at the corner of Tchoupitoulas Street and Andrew Higgins Drive on Sunday, Oct. 1 from 4 to 9 p.m.
On tap: German food and wine as well as local brews and a bunch of live bands:
A host of indie bands will be playing throughout the event, including Polish Pete and the Polkas, Rik Slaves’ Country Persuasion, Conor Donohue, Midriff, Motel Radio, and Sexy Dex and the Fresh. Link’s German heritage, Stryjewski’s background with European cured meats and Butcher’s housemade meats, terrines and sausages make Tchouptoberfest a natural fit for a day of beer, brats and rock.
I am biased when it comes to Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski, because they have been nice to me. That bias is irrelevant, however, because they are objectively great cooks and work very hard for the good of the community: “The mission of the Link Stryjewski Foundation is to nourish and educate the youth of New Orleans, empowering them to realize their potential and become active, positive members of our community.”
I know them both chefs well enough to guarantee that this is not something they do to garner positive public relations. It’s important to them, and it’s important to New Orleans, and it should be important to all of us.
You can buy tickets to Tchouptoberfest for $20, thought food and drinks will cost extra. There may also be a few “Bratz passes” left, which cost $100 and get you access to Cochon Butcher for air-conditioned seating, complimentary snacks, beer, wine, and a well-stocked cash bar.
I don’t know about you, but both of these events seem worthy to me, and it sure looks like a hell of a weekend.