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Mardi Gras masks and beads
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A Mardi Gras-themed kitchen is popping up at Time Out Market Chicago

French Quarter Kitchen will offer a selection of Southern staples on Fat Tuesday.

Jeffy Mai
Written by
Jeffy Mai

Mardi Gras is coming up on February 21 and Time Out Market Chicago is ready to go all out for the occasion.

Marking the final day before Lent, the annual tradition is typically celebrated with lots of good food, beverages, parades and parties. The Market will bring the spirit of New Orleans to Fulton Market on Fat Tuesday with a whole day of festive activities. To kick things off, the bar is crafting several special cocktails that will make you feel like you’re on Bourbon Street. They’ll include a classic French 75 and a sazerac, as well as a frozen hurricane that can be ordered in a yard cup.

Of course, you’ll want to dig into comforting fare to complement the drinking so two of the Market’s acclaimed chefs are teaming up for a one-day pop-up. “French Quarter Kitchen by Chefs D’Andre Carter & Darnell Reed” will offer a host of traditional Southern dishes from the culinary maestros behind Soul & Smoke and Luella’s Southern Kitchen. The pair initially connected during the pandemic lockdown but this will be the first time they’ll cook together—something both chefs are looking forward to.

“Because my relationship with chef D’Andre has been so good, I reached out to him immediately after [the Market] asked me about working with Soul & Smoke,” Reed said, adding “We were both in agreeance that with so many great chefs at Time Out Market, we should all be doing more collaborations together.” 

The menu will feature six dishes, split evenly between the two. After bouncing some ideas off each other, Reed and Carter decided that the former would focus on the seafood offerings—crawfish etouffee and catfish po’ boy. Most of the recipes are tried-and-true favorites the chefs have made before, including king cake, the quintessential Mardi Gras dessert. It’s a popular item that Reed said sold out daily last year when he did a similar pop-up at Time Out Market Chicago.

As for Carter, he’s delivering delicious bites like cajun deviled eggs and duck red beans and rice. The thing he’s most proud of, though, is the house-smoked pastrami muffuletta. While pastrami is available at Soul & Smoke’s original location, Carter said it’s never been served in a muffuletta sandwich. But after testing it out, he called the creation “amazing.”

“I’m really excited for people to try out the pastrami because that’s a thing that’s really popular here in Evanston, and I would like to share it with the Time Out crowd,” Carter said.

The pop-up kitchen will be open on Fat Tuesday starting at 11am and run until either 10pm or supplies last. However, that’s not all the Market has planned for Mardi Gras. There will be a beer sampling by Moor’s Brewing along with a live performance from brass band the Tubad Kings of New Orleans from 5:30pm-8:30pm. Guests will also receive festive beads and masks with a purchase. 

French Quarter Kitchen by Chefs D’Andre Carter & Darnell Reed menu:

Crawfish etouffee - $18 

Catfish po’ boy - $17  

King cake - $7  

Duck red beans and rice - $18 

Cajun deviled eggs - $8 

House-smoked pastrami muffuletta - $21

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