More than enough time has passed for me to even consider a follow up to my experience at the World Famous Cajun Gumbo Cook-off Contest in Lake Charles.
This extravaganza was on Saturday, February 18, 2012 and is one of the favorite events over Mardi Gras weekend. It was a rainy day, but that didn’t stop over 1,000 people from packing the Civic Center to taste just about all the gumbo they could.
There were 40 teams competing in the Cajun Gumbo Cook-Off. Here are details of the Gumbo Cook-off contest:
There was a professional category and an amateur category.
Two different types of Louisiana Gumbo were made.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Wild Game Gumbo.
There were 6 judges and we tasted every Gumbo.
One thing I did find out about myself is I’m not a big fan of wild game gumbo. We were not told what wild game was in the gumbos, but we heard rumors that there may have been squirrel or possum. Not a problem for me. Bring on the nutria or the raccoon, I can handle it. It was interesting how the teams served their gumbo. As you know I don’t like rice in my gumbo. Put it on the side. Some of the teams actually served rice with a little gumbo liquid. Obviously the rice absorbed all the gumbo. And all that was left was rice. Not good.
The amateur teams were comprised mostly of Krewes (Mardi Gras organizations) from around the Lake Charles area and they couldn’t have been nicer. They were also trying to win the Spirit Stick Award for most spirited group. Yes there was more than one spirit in attendance. I actually thought that Budweiser was going to win the Spirit Stick Award, but they didn’t.
I got there early and had a chance to see the prep work and chat with a bunch of the teams. They saw that I was a judge but this was a blind tasting so all we knew was what number the Gumbo was and didn’t know what number the team was. Around 11 am the music kicked in and the dancing started. Well there was some dancing before the band begun but that was beer driven. This is a great event for the family. Great food, great music, great costumes. What more can you ask for.
Now for the winners:
• Best Decorated Booth: Krewe of Marsh
• Spirit Award: SWLA Krewe of the Good Times
• Professional Chicken & Sausage & Wild Game: L’auberge Resort Casino Lake Charles
• Amateur Chicken & Sausage Gumbo: Krewe de l’Possede
• Amateur Wild Game: Krewe de la Maison Calcasieu
The biggest winners of the day were the over 1,000 attendees who had a chance to eat some of the best gumbo in Louisiana, experience the high energy Krewes and the Mardi Gras costumes.
So mark your calendars for the next SWLA World Famous Gumbo Cook-off Contest, February 9, 2013 and come pass a good time.
The Louisiana Travlin' Man