Music, gumbo warm up chilly Saturday night
Published 10:42 pm Saturday, February 25, 2017
There may have been a chill in the air, but the music and the gumbo were hot and the crowds flocking to the barricaded area of Crawford Street between Cherry and Adams streets were eating it up.
The Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation’s sixth annual Carnival de Mardi Gras and Gumbo Cook-off drew an estimated 2,000 people to listen to music from Legal Tender and sample the creations of gumbo from a variety of booths manned by casinos, restaurants and teams of friends who liked to cook and looking to win a first-place trophy and $200 cash prize.
“The gumbo is delicious,” said Denise Mounger, who was sampling gumbo with her husband Billy.
“We haven’t come here in a while,” she said. “This is wonderful. All these people being out here and having a good time.”
“This is very good,” Gail Parker said as she held sampling cups for herself and her husband.
“The gumbo is really good, although you have to use the same cup to sample each one. It’s great to have something like this.”
People attending the Carnival had the opportunity to sample different recipes of seafood and non-seafood gumbo from booths set up by RiverWalk and WaterView casinos, Rusty’s Riverfront Grill, and groups like Roux Dogs, Krewe of Chaos, and Making Gumbo Great Again.
Keith Flowers with Making Gumbo Great Again, which dished out chicken and sausage gumbo, said the idea for the name was based on Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
“I tried to come up with a catchy Mardi Gras name, but couldn’t come up with anything,” he said. “This was name was appropriate for the time and it happened to be the best idea.”
Ryan Newman of Krewe de Chaos, said the group’s name was developed four years ago when the group decided to enter the cook-off.
“It was our first year for this, and Cody Simms (one of the members) was trying to get this ready and his wife was pregnant, so we had chaos.
“Last year, we finished second (in the non-seafood gumbo). This year, we’re going for the gold.”
“We are very pleased with the turnout,” said foundation director Nancy Bell. “The gumbo was delicious, the weather was great, and it was gumbo weather.”
Unfortunately, Krewe de Chaos finished second again in non-seafood gumbo, with S&M Smokers taking the top prize. Cajun Cafe finished third.
In the seafood category, Roux Dawgs finished first, Rusty’s second and RiverWalk Casino third. RiverWalk also received the people’s choice award, while the Gumbo Pot, best decorated booth.