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Local food affair raises funds to support local farmers

29th September 2017   ·   0 Comments

Photo courtesy of Market Umbrella/Crescent City Farmers Market

Photo courtesy of Market Umbrella/Crescent City Farmers Market

By Kaelin Maloid
Contributing Writer

In a city where cuisine is king and supporting local communities and businesses is a way of life, there may be no better way to celebrate the two than with a farm-to-table fete.

On Sept. 30, Market Umbrella, operator of the Crescent City Farmers Market (CCFM), will host its fourth annual Moonlight Market in the newly renovated warehouse of the Contemporary Arts Center (900 Camp St.). From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., foodies and farmers alike will come together in celebration of Louisiana’s farmers, fishermen and producers, while supporting the larger work of Market Umbrella.

For more than 20 years, Market Umbrella has worked to establish and manage farmers markets that generate positive economic, social and nutritional impacts in the Greater New Orleans region.

Every week, four days a week, Market Umbrella supports the Crescent City Farmers Market (CCFM), which provides a space for local farmers and local communities to connect directly, according to Kathryn Parker, executive director of Market Umbrella.

“CCFM is an essential part of maintaining the ecosystem,” Parker said. “Hosting this fundraiser year to year helps ensure that we can continue to do and expand upon that great work.”

Moonlight Market helps generate financial support to sustain the weekly farmers market and wider initiatives under Market Umbrella.

Moonlight Market, which features meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients by some of New Orleans’s top chefs, will showcase more than 30 bars and restaurants that purchase produce at the weekly farmers markets. Some of the restaurants attending include Bittersweet Confections, Broussard’s, Clancy’s, Commander’s Palace, Dante’s Kitchen, Emeril’s, Frencheeze Food Truck, and Sac-a-Lait.

Anyone interested in attending can purchase tickets online, or purchase tickets at the door.

A patron party, which begins at 6 p.m., will precede the main event and will feature food prepared by Chef Kristin Essig of Coquette, specialty cocktails from Bar Tonique and music by Spider Murphy.

The Patron Party + Moonlight Market single ticket is $150; the Patron Party + Moonlight Market ticket for ages 21-35 is $75, and a single ticket for just the Moonlight Market is $50.

“For close to 15 years the Crescent City Farmers Market and its wonderful team members and farmers have been a part of my life,” said Alon Shaya, a James Beard Award-winning chef.

Shaya said in a statement that he has seen the impact of the Crescent City Farmers Market firsthand and can vouch for the importance of having access to fresh, local produce and goods – not just for restaurants, but also for the communities and families involved.

“I couldn’t imagine having an understanding of how to cook in New Orleans without the inspiration from the people there and the amazing ingredients they provide,” Shaya said in a statement. “There is no better place to fill your pantry.”

Patrons who attend the Moonlight Market can sample lump crab ravigote salad in Belgian endive leaf from Broussard’s, grilled shrimp and stone ground grits from Dante’s Kitchen, and andouille pate with black garlic crouton. Moonlight Market will also feature some of New Orlean’s beloved cocktail bars such as Cavan, Cure and Three Muses.

Since cocktails aren’t for everyone, patrons could finish their meal with a beer, as the event will also feature local beer from Urban South Brewery.

Live music from local trio, The Tin Men, and a silent action will also be part of the main event.

“This is our fourth year hosting this fundraiser to raise money to support or mission of not only supporting our local farmers but also our Greater New Orleans families, businesses and communities by promoting healthy, local food,” Parker said.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will support Market Umbrella’s ongoing programs, such as Market Match, which matches SNAP purchases at the market, dollar-for-dollar, up to $20.

“So if someone spends $20 in food stamps at the market, we give them $20 out of our funds from grants and such, so they end up spending $40,” Parker said.

For more information and a full list of participating restaurants, visit

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