A hearty good time promised at Wine and Food Experience

May 23, 2017 | Updated: 11:33 a.m., May 24, 2017

NEW ORLEANS- With a sabering of the champagne, Chef Slade Rushing of the world famous Brennan's Restaurant signals it's time for the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience.  And while sabering is part of the experience, tradition goes back centuries.

Executive Chef Slade Rushing sabering champagne at Brennan's Restaurant (WGNO-TV)

Ralph Brennan of The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group told us,"Napoleon, when they would come back from their campaign would grab champagne, when they got back to France and celebrate. They were often on horseback and it was not easy to open a bottle on horseback so they would take their sabers and slide it along the bottle and hit the top and the way champagne bottles are created the top just pops off and . It's a lot of fun and the champagne just comes spilling out and there's no glass in the bottle"

Ralph Brennan of The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group (WGNO-TV)

Champagne dinners are but one of the elements of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience.  On Thursday night, Brennan's offers their Grand Cru Selections dinner, highlighted by their incredible Bananas Foster dessert.

Brennan's bananas foster dessert at Brennan's Restaurant (WGNO-TV)

"It's the OG. The originator, as we like to say. This is where it all started. It's a dessert that's world renowned. You may find it in Switzerland, you may find it in Egypt, but this is the place where it came from and it's world famous and we're proud of it. We've got great pride to go into it and nobody flambe''s it like we do at Brennans," says Executive Chef Slade Rushing.

1000 international wines and over 100 of our restaurants, plus an incredible calendar of events to match, the Wine and Food Experience always delivers a good time. They also manage to help causes around the city, and for he first time this year they've chosen a single charity to help.

Jamie Peckenpaugh of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (WGNO-TV)

Jamie Peckenpaugh, Executive Director of NOWFE says, "Nunez Community College is our choice and they are very, very needy. They are still in a trailer since Katrina so this going to make a huge impact for them and that's really why we picked one this year so that we could make a greater impact."

So while you're lining up your reservations for this party with a purpose, expect to have a great time with our restaurants putting their best foot forward.

"Everybody likes to put their best their best culinary edge on and want to showcase what they do and it's a proud time for the city. We''re a city that's known for many arts and food is one of them," says Rushing.