Hogs for the Cause is the biggest food event this weekend, but it's not the only one. The long weekend starts Thursday with the Edible Evening, a foodie-focused garden party at the Samuel J. Green Charter School (2319 Valence St.) hosted by the Edible Schoolyard program, which incorporates gardening and healthy cooking into schools. About 30 restaurants, including many of the school's neighbors from the nearby Freret Street restaurant row, will serve dishes amid the garden beds. The Edible Evening begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $45 in advance, $50 at the door. See details at www.esynola.org.
FoodFest: America's Hometown Eats is the new name for the annual event previously called the New Orleans Roadfood Festival. Like its predecessor, FoodFest gathers a diverse array of food purveyors to offer samples of their signature dishes, this time at the French Market on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m. each day. Vendors include familiar New Orleans names — from Acme Oyster House to Plum Street Snoball — and there's barbecue from Memphis, tamales from Tucson, Ariz., and mini calzones called panzarotti from New Jersey. Admission is free. On Sunday, there's a beignet-eating contest at 1 p.m.
FoodFest begins Friday with a dessert-themed opening night event at Cafe Reconcile (8 p.m., tickets $50) and on Saturday there's a field trip for a crawfish boil and cochon de lait in Crown Point, a bayou town about 20 minutes from downtown New Orleans (beginning at 6:30 p.m., tickets are $99). Visit www.nolafoodfest.com or call (504) 888-7608 for details.