A new food festival (yes, another one) debuts next month when the NOLA Jerk Chicken Festival
takes over the newly opened Central City BBQ (1201 S. Rampart St., 504-558-4276) on Feb. 11. The festival was initially called the Marley Gras Jerk Chicken Fest, but changed the name after members of Fifty-Six Hope Road Music (a company run by the heirs of Bob Marley) threatened legal action with a cease and desist letter.
The inaugural festival, from the organizers behind the NOLA Caribbean Festival, celebrates the Caribbean island nation’s cuisine and it signature smoky chicken staple, as well the music and culinary traditions of both New Orleans and Jamaica.
What does a mash-up of the both mean? A press release promises a "fantastic stable of national reggae bands and DJs as well as New Orleans’ own top brass bands performing Bob Marley hits brass style.”
The festival falls within a week of Marley’s birthday.
A number of local restaurants and food trucks (no word yet which ones are lined up) are expected to sling their renditions of jerk chicken and other Caribbean-influenced dishes and drinks.
For those brave (read: insane) enough to tackle it, there will also be a Scotch bonnet pepper eating contest. There also will be a jerk chicken competition judged by “local celebrity” judges, according to the release.
The festival runs from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and tickets are $10. For more information on the festival or to purchase tickets, visit the website here.
*This story has been updated to include the festival's name change.