The Food

Delicious Creole & Cajun Food including 10,000 pounds of live crawfish straight from Louisiana! Cooking demos by Southern chefs!

Learn how to cook Cajun & Creole delicacies in the Taste of Louisiana Food Demo Tent. Credit: Dan Prychun.

Sample Pralines anyone?
Credit: Dan Prychun.

If you think that Gator By the Bay is only about music and dancing, you’re missing out on one of the tastiest facets of the festival.  Gator By the Bay is also about fantastic food—and in particular the signature cuisine of Louisiana.


In the French Quarter Food Court you’ll find all sorts of Louisiana specialties – Crusty, complex Po’Boys; Wood Smoked grilled Hot Links; Sweet potato fries; Melt-in-your-mouth pork chops; Smoky salty red beans and rice; Jambalaya; Seafood Gumbo, Chicken Gumbo, Gator Gumbo; Gator on a Stick; Etouffee (dark or light roux); Boudin and Andouille Sausage; Hush Puppies; Corn on the Cob; Breaded and deep fried Cat fish; Cornbread; Greens; Beignets; Sweet Potato Pie; Cobbler; Pecan Pie; Pralines; Bread Pudding and more… Oh my! 

Mitch the Crawfish Man will be boiling up 10,000 lbs of crawfish, straight from the bayous of Southwest Louisiana, and he’ll be glad to teach you how to eat them if you don’t know the “pinch those tails, suck them heads” technique. (This video will give you a good head start! ).

If your looking beyond the borders of Louisiana Parishes, how about delicious Thai, Island Grill featuring Jamaican cuisine, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Fries, Tri-tip, Pulled Pork, Crepes, Funnel Cakes, homemade Ice-Cream, Kettle Corn, Choc-Kabobs (fruit meets dark or light chocolate) and many more fresh, gentile and delicious dishes including several vegetarian options to nourish any festival guest .

Want to learn how to prepare some of those Louisiana goodies?  On Saturday and Sunday, stop by the Taste of Louisiana Food Demo Tent and learn the secrets of Southern cooking.  Guest chefs Jack Gambrell, and Chef and Professor Michael Fitzgerald and students of San Diego Mesa College Culinary Arts Department will be doing cooking demos and providing professional instruction in preparing favorite Southern specialties … with samples.

The Chefs relate the origin of each dish and the culture from which it evolved.   Just how does Cajun differ from Creole in the kitchen?   Why sassafras? What goes into the “trinity”? What dishes came from the Native Americans, the French, the West Africans, the Spanish?

Saturday, May 7 Sunday, May 8
 11:00 am -12:00 pm – Beignets – Chefs Quentin and Cindy Yates 10:45 am – 11:45 am – Beignet with Chicory Coffee – Chef Michael Fitzgerald
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm – Tasso Grits with Greens – Chef Michael Fitzgerald 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm – Red Bean and Rice with Andouille Sausage –  Chef Jack Gambrell
 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Muffaletta Sandwich –  Chef Michael Fitzgerald 1:45 pm – 2:45 pm – Pork and Sausage Jambalaya – Chef Michael Fitzgerald
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Pralines – Chef Michael Fitzgerald 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm – Bourbon Sweet Potato Bars –  Chef Michael Fitzgerald