Gumbo fans get ready

Cook-off has record number of teams

October 04, 2007 at 7:09 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A record-breaking 76 teams will fight for the right to bring home the paddle in the United Way's sixth annual "Battle for the Paddle" cook-off, which will be held Oct. 4 at the West Bank Bridge Park in Luling.

And while the teams are busy trying to outdo each others gumbo or jambalaya masterpieces, the public receives the best prize of all, getting to sample that culinary delight for only $5.

The teams, who all paid a $50 entry fee, will begin arriving to setup their tents at 8 a.m. At 11 a.m., the contestants begin cooking, and at 4 p.m. the eight judges from the John Folse Culinary Institute get their first chance to taste the food and the public gets their first chance to enter the event, where they can walk from team to team sampling the courses until 7:30 p.m.

Along with the food, visitors can also purchase beer and soft drinks for $1 a piece, and snowballs for $2 each. Music will be provided throughout the event by DJ Reese.

After the judging takes place, two teams will receive the coveted paddle for finishing in first in either the gumbo or jambalaya categories. There will also be second and third place winners, with the top three teams all receiving plaques. Attendees also get to pick the people’s choice award winner by turning in their ballots at the end of the night.

"This is a good public event that helps raise awareness for the United Way," Cindy Johnson, one of the event’s coordinators, said. "It also provides a good way for us to kick off our 2007-2008 United Way Campaign."

Last year, the event raised $10,000 for the campaign and also played host to 1,500 visitors. With an increase in teams, expectations are even higher for this year's cook-off.

View other articles written By Jonathan Menard

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