It’s not news that in New Orleans, everything centers on food—and that includes books. New Orleans Public Library has partnered with SoFAB (Southern Food and Beverage Museum) to create the first-ever culinary library branch of NOPL as a satellite branch, at a renovated building on O.C. Haley Blvd. With over 9,000 volumes of vintage and contemporary cookbooks and food reference books collected by SoFAB, this is the first library branch in that neighborhood since the 1940s. It’s intended as a way to celebrate cooking and the love of food, contributing to the area’s unique identify and culture. It’s also part of what the NOPL is calling a “living collection,” passing down traditions to the next generation.
Chefs love the idea, because preserving food culture is what they do in the kitchen. Putting its money where its mouth is, Link Restaurant Group is collaborating with SoFAB and a few other local businesses, nonprofits and restaurants to raise money for the new library. Books and Beasts: A Fundraiser for SoFAB Culinary Library, takes place this Sunday, June 16, at Ashe Cultural Arts Center, 1713 O.C. Haley Blvd, from 12:30-4PM. There’ll be music by Zazou City and the Siren Sisters and dance performances by the wild and crazy Muff-A-Lottas (but of course we would have a dance group named after a sandwich, the muffaletta!) and the Camel Toe Lady Steppers. Culinary book vendors will be setting up shop. That’s the books-the “beasts” come in from the Link Restaurant Group’s Peche Seafood Grill, Cochon and Herbsaint (hey, you knew Cochon meant “pig,” right? As in “beast”?), and Boucherie, Cowbell, Café’ Reconcile, Parkway Bakery, Pizza Delicious, and New Orleans’ own Ya-Ka-Mein Lady, Ms. Linda Green. Prepare to eat lunch! It’s an indoor picnic.
It’s something a little different for Father’s Day. And it’s for a cause we can all get behind-food, and books!