Southern Food and Beverage Museum Reopens
Food lovers everywhere now have the chance to experience the bigger and better SOFAB in New Orleans.
Now located at 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. in New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood, the new, 10,000 square-foot Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a destination in a city already filled with foodie haunts. As if a museum dedicated to Southern food weren’t enough, the one also houses the Museum of the American Cocktail, Kuyper Cake Collection, Gallery of the South – “States of Taste,” restaurant/bar Purloo and the first public library in the South dedicated to culinary literature.
After being closed for the past year, SOFAB cut the ribbon on its new museum September 29. Part of settling into the new location includes the rededication of the Leah Chase Louisiana Gallery in order to re-acknowledge her culinary contributions to New Orleans. SoFAB and the Dillard University Ray Charles Program teamed up for an event that showcased Chef Marcus Samuelsson, who spoke about the importance of food in his life and the impact of chefs such as Leah Chase.
Upcoming exhibits in the new space include “Happy Happy Happy” on November 8. Every day during the month of June, S. Louise Neal baked and delivered a free birthday cake to highlight the daily, personal holidays that are occurring around us. Her endeavor was an attempt to understand the context in which people recognize their birth date. Th exhibit displays 30 photos, one from each day of the Birthday Cake Project.
Speaking of cake, the Kuyper Cake Collection was started by Frances Kuyper, known as the Cake Lady, and represents historic and artistic examples of the art of cake decorating. After Kuyper passed away, her cakes were donated to SoFAB. What began in Kuyper’s garage now contains around 150 cakes, 100 videotapes demonstrating cake decorating techniques from around the globe and more than 500 cake decorating books. The exhibit will be a permanent fixture of the Tout de Sweet: All About Sugar Exhibit in the Sugar Gallery.
The “Trail of Smoke and Fire” opens on November 15 and invites visitors to walk around and decide for themselves which Southern barbecue is the best, while the Gallery of the South features food exhibits on every Southern state. Future exhibits include one on food and cultural identity titled “A Defining Taste: Cuisine, Cultural Identity, and the Creole Migration” funded by the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.
The Museum of the American Cocktail was founded by Dale DeGroff and several of the world’s most passionate cocktail authorities and historians. It serves to advance the profession, increase consumer knowledge of mixology and reiterate the importance of responsible drinking, while documenting the history of the cocktail, which is still widely believed to have originated in New Orleans. The museum will host “Crafting the Cocktail” from December 6 through February 21, an exhibition of high-quality, handmade barware.
SoFAB is also currently undergoing the Pots and Pans Project, which will be a public art sculpture made of pots and pans from restaurants all over the South designed and created by Chef Timothy Swepston. In addition to the new location, the museum has teamed up with the French Market to host weekly events. Every Sunday in November you can be treated to cooking demos, food conversations and musical entertainment at the French Market Fare stage.
SOFAB museum hours are Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students with an ID, and free for children under 12 with an adult.
Photos submitted by the Southern Food & Beverage Museum.