A year and a half before the very first New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE) took place in 1992, a passionate group of wine lovers and purveyors, restaurateurs, hoteliers and arts aficionados gathered to establish the city’s most enduring annual wine and food event. They determined that 100 percent of the event proceeds — minus costs, of course — would benefit the arts, careers in wine, and the hospitality industry; and provide funds for other charitable organizations. The first NOWFE was hosted by the Sheraton Hotel. It began as a four-day event consisting of eleven vintner dinners at various restaurants, the Royal Street Experience, two Grand Tastings, seminars, and champagne brunches. That first year was very successful despite the fact that nearly zero tickets had been sold in advance. In fact, NOWFE made a $6000 profit and dispersed $2000 each to three charitable organizations. After a banner first year, the event was moved to the larger venue of the Fairmont Hotel for the next two years.

Over the last several decades NOWFE has grown into an event that annually welcomes more than 10,000 attendees, yet still offers many intimate opportunities to mingle with winemakers, chefs and industry insiders at a plethora or festival events. Adhering to its original mission, NOWFE has contributed more than $1 million to local non-profit organizations, and continues to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for wine and food lovers.

Celebrating its 24th anniversary this year, NOWFE offers food and wine pairings from over 75 LA chefs with 1,000 vintages from 175 wineries around the world. It is not just about drinking wine. There are seminars and excursions throughout the weekend, 30 wine dinners at NOLA’s finest restaurants on Thursday, a high-end wine and food tasting, VINOLA, on Friday afternoon, The Royal Street Stroll moves to later on Friday evening this year, The Grand Tasting (just what it sounds like) takes place Saturday evening, and The Big Gateaux Show combines the delicious combination of pastries, cocktails, and burlesque (and pasties too, I suppose!) later on Saturday evening. Some of the events have already sold out, so please check on the parties you are interested in attending as soon as possible.

NOWFE is a non-profit organization with 100% of proceeds going to causes that support culinary education. Beneficiaries for 2016 are The SoFAB Institute, Edible Schoolyard, NOCCA’s Culinary Arts Program, Delgado Community College, School of Culinary Arts, The John Folse Culinary Institute, Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation ProStart® Program, and The University of New Orleans, School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism. If your organization is interested in becoming a NOWFE Beneficiary, please contact Executive Director, Jamie Peckenpaugh at

Enjoy the weekend food and drink lovers; cheers to eating and drinking for a good cause!


WHAT: New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

WHEN: May 26 – 29, 2016

WHERE: New Orleans, LA: Multiple venues in and around the metropolitan area including Royal Street, the Convention Center, various restaurants and more.

TIX & INFO: For tickets and more information, please visit -  and do not delay!