Festival International’s celebration of gastronomy is beginning to rival its rep as a world music fête.
By Emily Henagan

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Photo by Robin May

There are seldom times when snacking on fried boudin balls, sampling melt-in-your-mouth catfish smothered in seafood étouffée, indulging in alligator sauce piquante and chasing it with a chicken schawerma wrap would be considered anything short of gluttonous. However, Festival International de Louisiane is the singular time when it’s not only socially acceptable to partake in meals where a slice of Dean-O’s pizza serves as just your appetizer, but it is also highly regarded as a festival rite of passage.

And I really need that time in my life after vacationing to Miami with one of my best friends who is a New Orleans native. While in Miami, we noticed that there is a striking contrast between people from South Louisiana and those from everywhere else: we venerate people who eat excessive amounts of food while they harshly criticize these people. Therefore, it’s going to be so much more satisfying this year when I scoop up Bon Creole’s spinach and crawfish mélange with pieces from the bread bowl it rests in to glance around the crowd and notice that my Festival compatriots are partaking in eerily similar indulgent food excursions without feeling guilty or ashamed. It is simply unbridled food revelry.

And at this year’s Festival there’s no better time to celebrate, because About.com Readers’ Choice 2012 “Best World Music Festival” is marrying Southern Living’s “Tastiest Town.” But instead of resting on their laurels, Lafayette and Festival are giving festival-goers what they have come to love and expect: food that is distinctly unique, affordable and delicious.

“I enjoy Festival International’s food more than any other festival’s food, because it offers more a variety of foods from different cultures,” says Bunkie native Amelia Riché. “It’s more than just a man selling food out of his truck as an afterthought.”
Riché, along with Shreveport native Casey Yates, are most looking forward to Zeus’ Greek and Lebanese offerings, which can be found at Lus Pavillon de Cuisine tent. “I could eat Zeus every day,” says Yates. “It’s my go-to-food.”

Although Zeus may be Yates’ go-to food, she’s looking forward to savoring chicken on a stick. Kimberly Polk, a New Iberia native, says she opts for the more traditional festival food like the chicken on a stick or a hamburger. She, along with any of you festival food purists, can curb your festival food tooth at the Super Chevy Scéne des Jeunes tent.

If you’re feeling more adventurous like Megan Padgett, a Birmingham, Ala., export who enjoys a wider variety, then the Scéne Popeyes tent is for you. You can stop in and try Masala’s samosas, flaky stuffed pastries accented with herbs and peas, and then walk inches to sample Poupart’s crawfish pistolettes, creamy crawfish concoctions resting in fried bread rolls. “I love that I don’t have to pick one food over the other,” says Padgett. “I can just try it all.”

And trying all the food is just part of what makes Festival’s food du jour unparalleled. It’s also the people you share it with, the refreshing drinks you wash it down with and the music you accompany it with that makes Festival’s food so unforgettable.

“Everything goes well with a cold drink and good music,” says Yates.

To start planning what you wish to complement your cold drink and good music, head to www.festivalinternational.com and click on the “Food and Beverage vendors” tab underneath the “Music, Food, Arts and Craft” header.

To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.

ABiz Stock Watch
o Home Bancorp 20.12 0.00 (0.00%)
o Frank's International 24.66 0.00 (0.00%)
o IberiaBank Corp 66.66 0.00 (0.00%)
o LHC Group 21.10 0.00 (0.00%)
o MidSouth Bancorp 16.43 0.00 (0.00%)
o Petroquest Energy 5.44 0.00 (0.00%)
o PHI Inc. 41.90 0.00 (0.00%)
o Superior Energy 31.63 0.00 (0.00%)
o Stone Energy 45.60 0.00 (0.00%)
o Teche Holding 76.82 0.00 (0.00%)
o Facebook Inc. 59.72 0.00 (0.00%)
o Twitter Inc. 44.42 0.00 (0.00%)
o Gannett 26.64 0.00 (0.00%)

Home Bancorp

Company ID [NYSE:HBCP] Last trade:20.12 Trade time:3:59PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

Frank's International

Company ID [NYSE:FI] Last trade:24.66 Trade time:4:03PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

IberiaBank Corp

Company ID [NYSE:IBKC] Last trade:66.66 Trade time:3:59PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

LHC Group

Company ID [NYSE:LHCG] Last trade:21.10 Trade time:3:59PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

MidSouth Bancorp

Company ID [NYSE:MSL] Last trade:16.43 Trade time:4:02PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

Petroquest Energy

Company ID [NYSE:PQ] Last trade:5.44 Trade time:4:01PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

PHI Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:PHII] Last trade:41.90 Trade time:12:48PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

Superior Energy

Company ID [NYSE:SPN] Last trade:31.63 Trade time:4:04PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

Stone Energy

Company ID [NYSE:SGY] Last trade:45.60 Trade time:4:06PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

Teche Holding

Company ID [NYSE:TSH] Last trade:76.82 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

Facebook Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:FB] Last trade:59.72 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

Twitter Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:TWTR] Last trade:44.42 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)


Company ID [NYSE:GCI] Last trade:26.64 Trade time:4:02PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)

Economic Indicators

  • Real Estate Data
    Real Estate
  • Energy Data
  • Taxable Sales
  • Unemployment Rate

Read the Flipping Paper!

Click Here for the Entire Print Version of