In New Orleans, the holidays don’t end on New Year’s Day. The celebrations continue with the start of Carnival season on Jan. 6 and are ongoing through Mardi Gras day. The Link Stryjewski Foundation, co-founded by local chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski, ushers in Carnival season with its third annual Bal Masqué, which bills itself as “a celebration of New Orleans’ Creole carnival roots.”
The Bal Masqué is a fundraiser for local organizations that work tirelessly to support New Orleans’ at-risk youth including the Youth Empowerment Project, Kingsley House, the Roots of Music, and Grow Dat Youth Farm. This year, the event will feature a special Chefs’ Dinner on Friday, January 18 and the Bal Masqué on Saturday, January 19 with live music by New Orleans Brass & Funk, Cajun Dancehall, and Haitian Vodou Rock ‘n’ Roots at the Sugar Mill.
The Bal Masqué features menus from nationally renowned chefs. The evening’s fare will include preparations by John Currence (City Grocery, Oxford, MS), Nancy Oakes (Boulevard, San Francisco), Neal Bodeheimer (Cure Co., New Orleans), Nina Compton (Compere Lapin, New Orleans), Suzanne Goin (Lucques, Los Angeles), Paul Kahan (Avec, Chicago), Mike Lata (FIG and The Ordinary, Charleston), Frank Stitt (Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham), Richard Reddington (Redd, Yountville), Andrea Reusing (Lantern, Chapel Hill), Maggie Scales (La Boulangerie, New Orleans)
The event is designed to attract donors in support of the Link Stryjewski Foundation’s mission. As such, tickets to Bal Masqué start at $300. Tickets for the Chefs’ dinner come in at $750. A few things to note: The Bal Masqué attire is black tie or costume attire. Masks, of course, are a required piece of the ensemble. (As is the case for any good carnival party!) Enjoy an evening of delicious food, music, dancing, and support a worthy cause all the while. Tickets for both events are available to purchase here. Happy carnival, y’all!