New Orleans celebrates Beignet Fest

Sofia Luciano, Life and Times Editor

Under the blazing New Orleans sun, people from all around the city gathered at the City Park Festival Grounds for some delicious, sweet and savory treats on Sept. 24 to attend the city’s annual Beignet Fest.

The festival was decorated by hundreds of people all hungry for a good beignet. There were sixteen vendors at the festival, all local businesses like Afrodisiac, The Vintage, Loretta’s Authentic Pralines, Any O’ Cajun, Stuph’d Beignets and Burgers, The Howlin’ Wolf, Old School Eats, and more.

The vendors competed for the Beignet Fest judges’ award, and Loretta’s Authentic Pralines took the prize for their delectable praline beignet – fresh fried dough, straight out of the sizzling oil, topped with praline cream and enough powdered sugar to see stars. It was delicious.

While festival-goers waited in line for some blackberry beignets topped with whipped goat cheese, musical artists like funk fusion group Water Seed, trumpet player Shamar Allen, Connie Collins Morgan, the Imagination Movers, Katy Ray, Dave Jordan, and the NIA, Grayhawk Perkins, Johnette Downing, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band performed on the main and kids’ stages.

In addition to the musical performances, there was an artist market with over 15 vendors such as Passion Lillie selling handmade clothing, Shae Shea selling shea butter based skin and hair products, and Yasworm Jewels, which featured handmade jewelry, among others.

After eating more beignets than anyone could count, people went vendor to vendor until reaching the anticipated Sweet Legacy beignet. Oh, Sweet Legacy. The maple pecan fried chicken beignet was more than just a beignet, it was an experience, attendees reported. Standing in line, festival-goers could clearly see the vendors behind the stand preparing the dish as racks of flour shook with freshly battered chicken and were finished off with a generous pour of maple pecan sauce for each portion. Attendees seemed to feel and taste the love it was made with.

Over at the Howlin Wolf, they had their award-winning cheddar bacon beignets with a Chipotle crema. More like hush puppies than beignets, these were a crunchier, savory alternative many people raved about at the festival.