Jumbo Gumbo by Food Network Magazine in Food Network Magazine, October 11th, 2012
When fall arrives in Louisiana, the gumbo pots come out. We asked the champs of New Iberia’s annual cook-off for their recipes.
Louisiana natives are quick to tell you that no two gumbos are alike. Tweak a roux here and a spice there and you end up with a completely different pot of stew — which is why every October gumbo fanatics meet in New Iberia to see who’s making it the best. The three-day World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off (October 12 to 14; worldchampionshipgumbocookoff.blogspot.com) starts with live music on Friday night and a Cajun and Creole food festival on Saturday before the main event on Sunday. About 90 teams gather before 5 a.m. to compete in one of three categories: chicken and sausage, seafood and mélange (the wild-card division). For the next few hours, all of downtown smells like gumbo as 40,000 people wait to get their first taste. It’s worth a trip for a sample, but in case you can’t get there, we asked last year’s amateur winners for their prized recipes.