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New Orleans Wine & Food Experience returns May 25-28 

Culinary festival celebrates its 25th anniversary

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The 25th annual New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (www.nowfe.com) is May 25-28. The culinary festival includes wine dinners at local restaurants, various tasting events, a pastry competition that features burlesque performances, seminars and more.

  The Grand Tasting is Saturday, May 27 at Mardi Gras World. It features hundreds of wines and food from 75 local restaurants. The Royal Street Stroll features wine tastings at art and antique galleries in the 200 to 800 blocks of Royal Street on Friday, May 26. There are food tents, live music and a parade led by the Krewe of Cork, wine bar owner Patrick Van Hoorebeek's Carnival club for wine enthusiasts and wine and hospitality industry people.

  The Big Gateaux Show is a pastry competition that features cocktails and burlesque performances by Trixie Minx and Bella Blue. It is Saturday at the New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center.

  There also are wine dinners at area restaurants. Visit the website for a list of participating wineries and restaurants.

  There are seminars covering wines from Portugal and Germany, a pasta-making class and a fishing excursion with chef Andrew Curren of the ELM Restaurant Group in Austin, Texas.

  In its 25 years, the event has raised more than $1 million for charities and culinary education. Last year, $35,000 was donated to the culinary program at Nunez Community College. — WILL COVIELLO

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