Foodies Having Fun At Mardi Gras With Tastings, Cook-Offs, Special Events

 In Food

Mardi Gras season is upon St. Louis and this year there are plenty of festivities to get the good times rolling for foodies. Must-see events include tastings and cook-offs leading up to the grand parade weekend along with VIP parties and big bashes held during the main Mardi Gras celebration.

Image courtesy of Mardi Gras Inc.

Image courtesy of Mardi Gras Inc.

Kicking things off this weekend is the Mardi Gras Wine, Beer and Whiskey Taste in the heart of Soulard. With a ticket guests can enjoy pours from numerous wineries, explore beers from the Anheuser-Busch family and sip on different varieties of Jack Daniels. With a drink in hand, be sure to pick up samples from area restaurants, such as Molly’s In Soulard, and then head to the dance floor to party with music provided by a DJ. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. 730 Carroll St., Soulard, 314.771.5110.

Professional foodies will be cooking up a storm on Feb. 15 at the Lumiere Place Cajun Cook-Off. Watch all the action as ten area chefs go head to head in a competition that tests their Cajun culinary abilities. Josh Galliano of The Libertine, David Bailey of the Bailey Restaurant Group and John Perkins of Juniper are just a few of the names ready to kick off this year’s Mardi Gras with a big win and bragging rights. A ticket includes access to the open bar stocked with Bud Light and Southern Comfort hurricanes along with servings of jambalaya and pulled pork po’boys. Live music will be provided by Super Jam and the event will be held at the Bud Light Party Centre. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. 11:30am to 4:30pm. 730 Carroll St., Soulard, 314.771.5110.

The Mardi Gras celebration continues Feb. 22-23 when taste buds will be tickled by the Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard. With over 30 participating restaurants, this year’s Taste will offer everything from Chava’s flash-fried beef tacos to Big Daddy’s Cajun stuffed mushrooms. Follow the numbered map provided with each ticket to see where the participating establishments are located and also what menu options are available. Each ticket includes six food vouchers redeemable at any of the locations and also one sample of Southern Comfort. Go on Saturday and enjoy the complimentary trolley service around Soulard. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online or at participating restaurants. Taste runs from 11am to 5pm.

Those looking for the true VIP experience at Mardi Gras should have their eyes set on Molly’s In Soulard. With various packages available, the sky is practically the limit at Molly’s on Mardi Gras. Beginning with a great buffet as well as access to private bathrooms, those looking for a little extra comfort should shoot for the VIP tent, which provides unlimited Cajun and Creole classics during the afternoon as well as drinks at a premium open bar. A step above the VIP, the cabana and table options allow for friends to come along, as well as bottle service and a private space to celebrate Mardi Gras. Tickets vary from $95 for VIP to $1,000 for the eight-person cabana package. 816 Geyer St., Soulard, 314.241.6200.

The French roots at Franco run deep so their Mardi Gras celebration is filled with traditional dishes that foodies can truly sink their teeth into during the day’s festivities. A ticket to Franco’s masquerade-themed party means having access to a Cajun-inspired breakfast, lunch and bar during Mardi Gras. True foodies should try to dress to impress along the masquerade theme in the hopes of winning a chef tasting for six at Franco. Tickets are $45 in advance or $55 at the door. The event is from 10am to 4pm on March 1. 1535 S. 8th St., Soulard, 314.436.2500.

Unlimited craft draft beer at the International Tap House is a hard deal to beat any day of the week, let alone on Mardi Gras. That’s why the VIP special at iTap is a hot commodity for thirsty foodies looking for a great brew along with a plate full of classic New Orleans dishes from Gulf Shores Restaurant & Grill. Located in the heart of the action, iTap offers a prime location with a delicious spread of food and beer that will make this Mardi Gras one for the books. Tickets are $100 per person. The event is from 11am to 7pm. 1711 South 9th St., Soulard, 314.621.4333.

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