• Cheré Dastugue Coen

Beignets Are Not a Laughing Matter!

The Beignet Fest returns to New Orleans on Sept. 24.


There’s a rule in New Orleans when eating beignets, those delicious puffy pastries lightly fried and doused with white confectioner’s sugar that is served with the city’s signature coffee and chicory.

The secret? Don’t laugh!


For if you do, all that soft white sugar goes everywhere and it’s a devil to wipe off your clothes.


Now that you know the rule, you’ll undoubtedly laugh every time.


If you love beignets as much as we do, you won’t want to miss the Beignet Fest, which returns to New Orleans Sept. 24 in beautiful City Park.


“There’s nothing more New Orleans than coffee and beignets,” said Leslie Monson, CMO of Ballard Brands, parent company for the city’s PJ’s Coffee. The company, which will serve as the official coffee and food vendor, sent us information on the festival in a press release.


We couldn’t agree more that beignets are as part of the city as Mardi Gras. This square piece of dough that’s fried and sprinkled with sugar has been a mainstay of New Orleans for decades, served up hot at Café du Monde in the heart of the French Quarter. Café du Monde doesn’t close (only on Christmas and possibly during a hurricane), so it’s the late-night spot for those needing a slice of heaven. Do try the coffee and chicory, the perfect accompaniment for the doughy goodness. But for those who throw their hands up at java (mon dieu!), there’s white and chocolate milk and orange juice.


But back to that festival. All proceeds from the event benefit the non-profit, Beignet Fest Foundation which aims to "celebrate, embrace and enhance the lives of children with developmental delays and disabilities by presenting them as whole beings, and to support organizations that do the same."


As for the food, the festival serves a wide variety of beignets, some sweet and innovative and some savory. The menu ranges from praline beignets, King Cake beignets and a Creole crawfish beignet, among so many others!

The full menu includes:

PJ's Coffee: Traditional Beignets, Pumpkin Spice-Filled Beignets, Chocolate Bavarian Cream-Filled Beignets

Loretta's Authentic Pralines: Praline Beignet, Chocolate Praline Beignet, The Famous Crabmeat Beignet, Burger Beignet, Peanut Butter and Jelly Beignet

The Vintage: Traditional Beignets, Crawfish Beignets, Raspberry Beignets, Parmesan Truffle Fries

Old School Eats: Blackberry Cloud Beignets, No Brainer Beignets, Beignet Ole', Trinity (sampler)

The Howlin' Wolf: Award-winning Cheddar Bacon Beignets with Chipotle Crema

Oh, Taste and See: Beignet Bread Pudding, Shrimp Pasta, Gumbo

Any O' Cajun: Crawfish and Corn Beignets, Crab Slider

Sweet Legacy: Fried Chicken & Beignets, Honey Pecan Beignets, Low Down Dirty Beignets

Afrodisiac: Jerk Chicken Beignet, Jamaican Beef Patty Beignet, Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Beignet

Stuph'd Beignets and Burgers: Creole Crawfish Beignet, Bananas Foster Beignets

Café Beignet: Traditional Beignets

Cocoa and Cream Catering: Fig & Cream Cheese Mardi Gras Beignet, Smoked Pulled Pork Beignet, Monte Cristo Beignet, Sampler Plate, Seafood Nachos

Delgado Culinary & Hospitality Club: King Cake Beignets

Dirty Dishes: Hot Sausage Stuffed Beignets, Dirty Mac

Jambalaya Girl: Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya, Jamburrito

Big O's Original Pops: Cafe au Lait + Beignets Pop, Strawberry Lemonade Pop, Pralines ‘n Cream Pop, "Popsicle Po-Boy"

Valerie's Creole Sneaux Catering: Snoballs, Natural Flavored Snoballs, Fruit Cup


Beignet Fest will feature a PJ’s Coffee Café as well as an Abita Beer Garden, so folks can alternate between caffeine and alcohol.


Performances

There will also be live music throughout the day on two stages.

johnette downing
Johnette Downing

Connie Collins Morgan reading "The Runaway Beignet" (10:15 a.m. – Kids Stage)


Imagination Movers (11 a.m. – Main Stage)


Katy Ray (12 p.m. – Kids Stage)


Dave Jordan and the NIA (12:30 p.m. – Main Stage)


Native American Storyteller Grayhawk Perkins (1:30 p.m. – Kids Stage)


Water Seed (2 p.m. – Main Stage)


Johnette Downing (3 p.m. – Kids Stage)


Shamarr Allen (3:30 p.m. – Main Stage)


Dirty Dozen Brass Band (5:00 p.m. – Main Stage)

imagination movers
Imagination Movers

For the kids...

Children’s Hospital New Orleans has contributed to a sensory friendly Kids Village in keeping with the event’s charitable mission to support children with autism and related developmental challenges.


For all ages...

There will be an Artist Market with local artists offering a variety of artwork, handmade clothes and other crafts for sale.


If you go…

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Date: Sept. 24, 2022

Where: The Festival Grounds in New Orleans City Park.

Admission: $20 per person, children 12 and under admitted free with a paid adult. Advanced tickets are on sale and encouraged.

Specials: PJ’s Coffee customers can get $15 tickets with a discount code at all their coffee shops through Sept. 20.

Information: www.beignetfest.com

Social: @beignetfest on Facebook and Instagram




Weird, Wacky & Wild South is written by New Orleans native Cheré Dastugue Coen who will always take time out for beignets and coffee au lait.

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