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Cocktail Culture

Coming Soon: The New Southern Food & Beverage Museum

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is home to the Gumbo Garden (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

You can learn a lot about a culture through its food and drink. The Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SOFAB) is a great place to get a taste — literally — of our region, and it’s poised to reopen at a new location on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. On Sept. 29 the museum, formerly located inside the Riverwalk shopping mall, hosts a ribbon cutting ceremony at its new, standalone location that will also signal the first of a series of opening events.

“What guests will find is that basically, we’re unfolding the museum,” says Liz Williams, president of SOFAB.

The new location also houses the Museum of the American Cocktail; the Rouse’s Culinary Innovation Center, which will host kitchen demonstrations; and chef Ryan Hughes’ Southern restaurant Purloo. One of the exhibits the museum is highlighting at the ribbon cutting is Gallery of the South: States of Taste, which aims for guests to get a feel for the South, showing how geography informs the foodways of each state in the region. Last fall SOFAB opened its culinary library at 1609 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., the largest of its kind in the south.

The ribbon-cutting kicks off a three-day event celebrating the museum’s re-opening. Award winning chef Jeremiah Tower will be present for the re-opening events, including a lecture, a master class for New Orleans-area culinary students, and an after-school class for children.

Later in the fall, look out for the re-dedication of the Leah Chase Louisiana Gallery and the official opening of The Trail of Smoke and Fire, an exhibition about barbecue around the south.

For more information on the museum and its reopening events, visit SOFAB’s website.

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