The New Orleans Botanical Garden and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum debut outdoor culinary spaces in the next week.
The New Orleans Botanical Garden unveils its Kitchen in the Garden during the 22nd annual Fall Garden Festival Oct. 5-6. The outdoor kitchen space will be used for classes, culinary demonstrations and special events highlighting garden produce and featuring visiting chefs and instructors.
“The main reason we built this was to increase our educational programming,” Botanical Garden director Paul Soniat says. “There’s so much emphasis now on farm-to-table and healthy eating that we think it’s a natural fit.”
Soniat hopes to design programs in partnership with other organizations, including City Park neighbor Grow Dat Youth Farm and Delgado Community College’s culinary program.
“Our main focus is to provide a space where people can interact with plants,” Soniat says. “We do a lot of educational programming now – talking about trees, shrubs and herbs – but this gives us demonstration ability to bring in chefs.”
On Wednesdays during October, the New Orleans unit of the Herb Society of America will present free cooking demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A chefs’ dinner series features Michael Gulotta of MoPho and Maypop on Oct. 8 and Joaquin Rodas of Bacchanal and Alex Harrell of Elysian Bar Oct. 22. Tickets for each dinner are $95.
Culinary workshops will include a class in preparing whole lamb and flatbread by Black Pearl Kitchen Oct. 15 and appearances by chef Wilfredo Avelar of Mawi Tortillas Oct. 24 and chef Ericka Lasairr of Diva Dawg/Cut Up Catering Oct. 29. Workshop tickets are $40.
The Kitchen in the Garden features concrete flooring, industrial-grade appliances, a wood-burning stove, pizza oven, protective covering and seating for 50 guests.
More information about Kitchen in the Garden is available on its website.
Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB) opens its Gumbo Garden Oct. 11.
The Gumbo Garden is a 3,200-square-foot outdoor venue for events, exhibits, museum programs and food festivals and will serve as the base for children’s culinary programs and the museum’s meat sciences department.
The garden features an array of custom cooking implements for barbecuing whole hogs, boiling crawfish and grilling, smoking or deep-frying just about anything. A vegetable garden will provide educational opportunities for children and other visitors.
Entrance to the Gumbo Garden is included with museum admission. More information about the museum and garden is available at www.natfab.org.