The sound of Cajun music echoed through the River Market as we made our way to the pavilions outside Ottenheimer Hall. As we drew closer, the air became thick with the delicious smell of seafood, peppers, okra, and sausage — and we knew that the 2013 Jumbo Gumbo Festival was in full effect. The annual gumbo cook-off, in addition to being an incredible amount of fun, serves to benefit the Allen School, an organization that has helped children with developmental disabilities get some extra help in preparation for their reaching school age. Staff and volunteers alike made sure that everyone had a good time — and more than enough to eat!
The judging was broken down into two groups: the professional judges who awarded the monetary prizes and the "foodie" judges who got to award the "Silver Spork" award to their personal favorite booths. I was lucky enough to be a "Silver Spork" judge along with Kevin Shalin, Thanh Rasico, and Michael Jiuliano, and it was a real honor to be involved with such a fantastic event. I'll have some more pictures below the jump, but first, here are the professional winners:
*First Place: Gumbreaux's
*Second Place: Meaux Good Gumbo
*Third Place: Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler (Who also won my Silver Spork)
*People's Choice: Wantsumeaux Gumbeaux (Who also won for Team Spirit)
*Silver Spork Winners: Taste of Home, Drake's Gumbo, Apartment Hunters, Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler