Jazz Fest: chefs create captivating cuisine for crowds



Posted on May 1, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS - Jazz Fest is not only Locals Day, it was also Students' Day, as grade school students got to play hooky with permission.

"A field trip, luckily, luckily," said student DeMichael Baker, who said he wanted to see a lot of stuff, but that mostly he wanted to eat.

DeMichael isn't alone. Crowds rushed right from the gates to the food booths, starting a second great festival weekend for chefs like Rusty Vucinovich.

"God blessed us with this weather, and these people are going to come out and enjoy the food, music, and good times, and the sights," said Rusty, owner of Vucinovich's Restaurant. "I think it's going to be fabulous, I think it will be a record."

A few booths down, Lawrence Armour was making stuffed crab for one hundred or so.

"This is a  lot of fun, actually," said Armour, owner of Stuf HapN Event Catering. "A lot of people, it's kinda hard work for them, but I like being in the kitchen. My brother likes being in the kitchen, we just love what we do."

Lawrence and Rusty both love their jobs so much they celebrated milestones this year.

"Thirty years this year, thirty years at Jazz Fest," said Rusty. "This is my thirtieth year."

"My father  started this business thirty years ago," said Lawrence. 'We've been out here ever since."
Jazz Fest has its own economy, and for the restaurants, this is essential profitability.

"It is very important," said Lawrence. "We've been busy, we stay busy year after year."

"Oh, I have customers all year long that say, we seen you, I was out at Jazz Fest," said Rusty.

"Potato salad is delicious, catfish is amazing," was one happy customer's high praise. "I really enjoy it."