Posted by: juliegirl | April 13, 2010

gumbo cook-off

Last October, the 2nd Bi-Annual Gumbo Cook-Off was held with much fanfare, and I’m just now getting to post about it. (Kate keeps pictures on her camera a loooong time.)  We called it the 2nd Bi-Annual Gumbo Cook-Off not only because we held our 1st Gumbo Cook off in the spring, just six months earlier, but also because it was such a hit that we can’t wait another year to have our 3rd one. At the first event, Tim and I just cooked up some gumbo and tried it out on a few friends. This time, we made it official and even invited a new cook to join us.

The competitors: Tim with a duck, oyster, and andouille gumbo, Steve and his chicken, andouille, and wild mushroom variety, and me–seafood gumbo. (I tried to include on the judging scorecard the fact that all my gumbo ingredients were local, but Tim was opposed on ethical grounds. He thought the trendiness of being “green” would sway the judges. This is what happens when you host a cook-off with a lawyer. This, and having your ingredient list fact-checked and evidence of your messiness documented.)

So the day began around 1:00pm when Steve and I arrived to start cooking. I hadn’t pre-chopped the night before (good thinking, Steve) so I started chopping while the guys got their roux going.

This is me trying to get a spot on the stove. Stove hogs!

Three rouxs. Mine (top right) is made with bacon grease and butter.

Exhibit A: Tim’s photo proving how messy a cook I am.

We invited a ton of folks to judge the gumbos, but it was an incredibly rainy night and not everyone made it. (More gumbo for the rest of us.) One soggy gumbo-lover arrived and took three servings of each to go so his whole family could taste at home and call their votes in later. In the end, it got down to decimal points. Thankfully, Kate was our in-house accountant and fairly calculated the winner.

Despite his newcomer status, Steve’s chicken, andouille, and wild mushroom gumbo won the top spot! (Lafourche Parish, represent.) Coming in second, Tim’s duck gumbo. Mine was third. I got lots of kind sympathy for third place, but I really liked my gumbo and all the fun was had in the event itself. Tim is already trash talking for next time, and there are several open questions. Did Steve’s Cajun heritage give him the advantage? Will Joe join us next year and, in that case, will someone have to cook their roux on the barbeque grill? Will we go with Tim’s idea and all cook the same gumbo next year so we can really judge the best cook? Whatever happens,  I’d rather have variety and mystery. Gumbo wins every time!

Stay tuned for updates on this spring’s 3rd annual cook off!


  1. Steve!

    Who can we enlist to make the trophies for the upcoming cook off?

    And can your side dish compete with mine?

    We shall see!


  2. It was a magical time, yes indeed. All gumbos were fantastic, but of course only one could be crowned a winner. I am so looking forward to the next one, and I half-heatedly agree with the lawyer that maybe next year we should all cook the same kind of gumbo and see who comes up the best in show…ya know! -Prejeant

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