Since food is as much a priority as music for some of us at Jazz Fest, we decided to ask those folks who are involved in WWOZ's Jazz Fest live broadcasts what they eat at the Fairgrounds. Their choices are sometimes different that those of the musicians we surveyed last week.
Show host Sondra Bibb
My favorite Jazz Fest foods are
Bennachin's spinach and fried plantains!!! The spinach is chopped, seasoned with garlic and onions, and a bit spicy. Add the sweetness of the plantains and... YUMMMMMMY! Also, I like the fried catfish po-boy, which is extra crispy with pickles — another bonus is that it's right next to my favorite dessert at the Fest, key lime tart! I usually have one while hanging out and then one for the road.
Show host Charlie Burchell
Nothing unusual or exotic [during the first weekend]... that's for [the second] weekend. Just your basic New Orleans-style fried shrimp po-boy, with crunchy big shrimp that you eat on the bun or just by themselves. Gets the job done quickly before I run off to the music. Oh yes, I love a WWOZ Mango Freeze, and the banana bread pudding makes a good dessert.
Assistant to the Program Director, SherriLynn Colby-Bottel
For me it's the crawfish puff, spice... sauce... flaky-puffy yumminess... Maybe it is the crawfish beignets — also way too yummy. Then again, maybe my favorite Jazz Fest food is beer.
Production Assistant Thaddeus Myers
Crawfish bread, no questions asked. It's the perfect blend of cheese and crawfish wrapped together in a beautiful starch. That's the first thing that came to mind, anyway.
Show host Suzanne Corley
Vietnamese Spring Rolls are back! Yay! And they'll even leave the pork out for those of us who don't like to eat things that walk. All you have to do is ask for shrimp only. These spring rolls are super-refreshing, clean food, and the sprig of mint gives them the perfect summer zing.
Program Director Dwayne Breashears
Prejean’s Crawfish Enchiladas. They are indescribably delicious.
Show host David Kunian
Pheasant, quail & andouille gumbo. The smoky dark roux and succulent, never over-cooked pheasant and quail combine with the slightly spicy andouille. I DREAM about this when I can't get it. Even on a hot day when you think it wouldn't do you right, it does you right like Ellis Marsalis's piano or Michael Doucet's fiddle — it can wash over you and make your whole being better.
Show host Missy Bowen
Jama-Jama and plantains for the first course, followed by crawfish strudel, topped off with white chocolate bread pudding, all accompanied by iced tea from the Scales family booth.
Show host Tom Morgan
For me it's the crawfish beignet, crawfish sack and oyster patty. I have started my Fest for years with that combo. It is something I can't find in any restaurant in the city and something I crave all year. Besides that, it is the Cuban sandwich and the lemonade. Great for a hot spring day.
Sound Engineer Al Laskey
Jama-Jama and fried plantains from Bennachin. The perfect Fest breakfast.
Production Assistant Sam Cammarata
Cochon de lait po-boy, Why? Well, if you've never had one, Its like biting into heaven. The Creole mustard, cole slaw, and pork are the perfect combination on po-boy bread. Add Crystal hot sauce for an extra KICK!!!
Web Editor Mike Kobrin
I plan it all out in advance so I'm not running all over the place trying to get what I like. Trout baquet from Lil' Dizzy's, WWOZ Mango Freeze, soft-shell crab po-boy (even though they're SHRINKING!), a crawfish sack or two, and lots of strawberry lemonade. And I've been having Crawfish Monica every year I've been here since the mid-90s. Those frozen margaritas are handy too, but just one does it for me. Okay, maybe two.