More than 300 turn out for taste of gumbo

Published 12:30 am Sunday, February 19, 2012

While Saturday rains forced the postponement of the 11th annual Downtown Vicksburg Mardi Gras parade to this afternoon, they could not put out the cooking fires or cool off the Cajun spices at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center, where a crowd of more than 300 celebrated the evening Carnaval de Mardi Gras and Gumbo Cook-off.

Six teams competed for the cook-off’s $200 cash first prize, which the Roux Dawgs, David Coulon and Barry Palmertree took home. The Roux Dawgs served up a seafood gumbo featuring shrimp, lump crab meat, crab legs, oysters and scallops.

Besides the fun of cooking, even in the rain, Coulon said, “We like to support every event in Vicksburg that’s a fund-raiser.”

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The second-place trophy went to the Joie de Vivre team, led by Wendy Kelly of Bovina. Ladling from a 70-year-old, 90-quart pot that originally belonged to the grandmother of one of her team members, Kelly said their gumbo recipe includes “five secret ingredients we would not tell people we have, and I would almost guarantee no other cooks have.”

Third prize went to the Voo-Doo Blues team, led by Barbara Prejeant Boyd, a native of Bridge City on the west bank of New Orleans, the “Gumbo Capital of the World,” said her daughter-in-law, Brandy Boyd. Voo-doo Blues served up a seafood gumbo.