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Monday, March 31, 2014

Local Food Fest spotlights West Bank's growing farm movement

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Cafe Hope Chef Melissa Martin

  • Rush Jagoe
  • Cafe Hope Chef Melissa Martin

When on the hunt for farm-fresh produce in the New Orleans area, the West Bank probably isn’t the first place that springs to mind.

Great seafood? Sure.

The best Honduran food in the city? Absolutely—but definitely not garden beds full of beets and bok choy.

In Marrero, a small but mighty contingent of restaurants, nonprofits and farmers is working to change that perception, as its members construct an oasis of locally sourced produce and innovative urban farming techniques.

Just over a year after the grand opening of Wendell Pierce’s first Sterling Farms grocery store in Marrero, Cafe Hope — a local farm-to-table restaurant working to train at-risk youth — is playing host to the area’s first-ever Local Food Fest on Sunday, April 6.

Located on site in and around the restaurant’s garden, the event boasts a strong roster of participating local restaurants, including Coquette, Maurepas Foods and Sylvain, which will be serving up dishes using seasonal ingredients from nearby farms.

“Cooking is inseparable to the work being done on boats, fields, and kitchens,” said Chef Melissa Martin of Café Hope. “I’m here to support my purveyors because they make the dishes come alive—they are the stories behind the vegetables and meats I coax onto a plate.”

Free and open to the public, Local Food Fest also provides a chance for festgoers to get a little bit of green back in their diets after a weekend full of porcine indulgences at Hogs for the Cause.

What: Local Food Fest

Where: Café Hope 

1101 Barataria Boulevard

Marrero, La. 70072

When: Sun., April 6, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

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