Moonlight Madness brings artisanship to the food court

Soft ginger snaps and chocolate cookies served at Heidi Weise’s table. (Dec. 20, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith
Soft ginger snaps and chocolate cookies served at Heidi Weise’s table. (Dec. 20, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith

For many, the phrase “food court” may call to mind images of lukewarm food slopped onto disposable plates in a fluorescent-lit mall atrium. But the Moonlight Madness Food Court event turned these expectations on their head, inviting local culinary artists to the Cordova Center solarium on Dec. 13 and 20.

At the center of the event were lobster rolls, ginger snaps and chocolate cookies by Heidi Weise; empanadas and crêpes by Paoola Vargas; and lumpia with fried rice by Aileen Allison.

The event was organized by the Cordova Parks and Recreation Department in partnership with the Cordova Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s festive and fun, with plenty of people, and the food is great,” said Cathy Renfeldt, executive director for the chamber. “It’s an excellent way to encourage people, yet again, to support local businesses and artists.”

Brent Olsen prepares tacos for hungry shoppers at the Moonlight Madness Food Court event. (Dec. 20, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith
Brent Olsen prepares tacos for hungry shoppers at the Moonlight Madness Food Court event. (Dec. 20, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith

Brent Olsen spends his days delivering packages around Cordova. However, Olsen spent the night of Friday, Dec. 20 delivering spot prawn and pulled pork tacos to hungry shoppers at the event.

“It’s pretty busy!” Olsen remarked. “But it’s always a blast being able to see all the Cordovans coming out and enjoying the holidays.”This is the first year the Moonlight Madness Food Court event has extended beyond the Bidarki Bazaar shopping event, Renfeldt said. Moonlight Madness is a two-week event during which businesses open late, encouraging residents to shop local.