After taking a hiatus during the pandemic, this year’s ESSENCE Festival of Culture was bigger and better. And if you’re a foodie, you got a chance to check out the first-ever ESSENCE Eats Food & Wine Festival.
With over 20 food vendors, hungry festival-goers had access to not only the best of the best in New Orleans cuisine, but a plethora of popular eats from across the globe. (Special shout out to Republic Bar & Grill from Ghana). Whether your taste buds were in the mood for NOLA classics like beignets or a shrimp po-boy, or itching to try something new from somewhere you’ve never been, there was truly something for every palette with affordable options to get you through the holiday weekend.
For ESSENCE Fest faithfuls, the Sugar Mill was a change of scenery from the typical ESSENCE Eats location in the Convention Center — and new stomping grounds were a hit. There was always a DJ spinning in between panels to keep up the momentum, plus amazing photo activations for attendees to share their favorite memories on social media. For those who preferred to eat outdoors, plenty of seating along with a few fun games at the Mississippi Heritage Park offered a welcome break from the convention center for many with plenty of ice cold Coca-Cola on deck to keep you refreshed at their outdoor activation.
From celebrity foodies, to top chefs, the ESSENCE Eats panel conversations were just as fulfilling as the delicious food offerings. Panel highlights from the weekend included a conversation with ESSENCE Magazine cover girl Pinky Cole; a fireside chat with restauranteur Marcus Samuelson, a Breakfast segment with the one and only Patti LaBelle.
The experience also featured celebrity appearances by ‘P-Valley’ star Brandee Evans, ‘Harlem’ star Jerri Jones, film producer and director Sidra Smith and more.
The ESSENCE Eats Food & Wine Festival was sponsored by Coca-Cola, Ford and Target.