Ian McNulty: Connecting the dots, fork in hand _lowres

Photo by Ian McNulty - Upcoming events will showcase local foods and those promoting them.

Eating local comes down to making personal decisions. But behind the scenes, there’s a growing network in the New Orleans area of small-scale producers, entrepreneurs, advocates and organizers who are turning the wheels of the eat-local movement and making those mealtime choices easier for more people.

A pair of food-focused events in the days ahead will convene a number of these players, and showcase what they’re bringing to the table.

First up, there’s the Good Eggs Summer Solstice Celebration on Saturday, June 21. Good Eggs is a year-old company that has grown rapidly by connecting consumers and local food producers through an online marketplace and a distribution apparatus of pickup sites and delivery services. The company’s warehouse – they call it a “warehome”– will be the venue for a party, mini food fest and indoor farmers market on the longest day of the year.

Up to 20 different farmers and food producers who work with Good Eggs will be there to discuss their goods and provide samples, while admission ($5 in advance, $10 at the door) also includes a drink and a choice of dishes from vendors serving pork tacos or vegetarian biryani. The party is at 1746 Tchoupitoulas St. from 5-8 p.m. and includes live music and kids activities. For details, see goodeggs.com/nola.

Then on Monday, June 23, the local butcher shop Cleaver & Co. and the nonprofit Slow Food NOLA will hold their Summer Harvest Feast at L’Entrepot (527 Julia St.), an events hall connected to the Warehouse District cafe Carmo.

Slow Food NOLA is the local chapter of a global organization promoting food it calls “good, clean and fair,” and examples of what that means in south Louisiana will be on Monday’s menu, from pork and shrimp to tofu and Creole cream cheese. Chef Alex Harrell of the French Quarter restaurant Sylvain will prepare the meal, which will be served family-style for sharing around the table, and the food producers themselves will be on hand to share their stories. NOLA Brewing and local distillers Cathead Vodka and Bayou Rum provide the drinks for cocktail hour beginning at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Monday’s event is a fundraiser to help send a local delegation to Italy in October to represent Louisiana at Terra Madre, a gathering of Slow Food groups from around the world. Tickets are $75. For details, see slowfoodnola.com.