The last of the big festivities that I attended was that 21st annual World Championship Gumbo Cook-Off. Whew...I wish I could describe what the air smelled like. The only way I can is to say it smelled like HOME!!
I haven't had the chance to attend the cook-off since I moved to North Carolina. I'd forgotten how much fun it is! There's just something about the smell of roux in the air! There are two different types of gumbo eaters. The die hards....who can eat gumbo any time of year. And the wussies...who only eat gumbo in the winter, when it's cold outside. I'd have to say I'm a die hard, there's nothing better than a big ol' bowl of gumbo with a scoop of potato salad on top! Yummy!
It was extremely hot this year though, the temps were in the high 90's on all three days of the cook-off. Whew. There's no way in hell I could have walked around all day tasting gumbo. I don't know how the "real die hards" did it.
There were 91 different teams (booths) this year, more than any year before. And I read somewhere that there were over 30,000 people at this years event. I have to admit that I think it's hilarious that BP sponsored this years cook-off! You just gotta love that!
Onto the pictures...
On Friday night we stopped by to visit with Diann and Tomy (at the cook-off) before we headed out to the cattle festival. There's a saying in Louisiana, "If your Grand Momma sneezes that's a reason to throw a party!" I think it's true. In the three weeks that I was there I attended two festivals and the cook-off! So much fun.
Ronnie and I playing around with the beer koosie that Tomy had. I'm a tough bitch, in case you didn't know! Haha! That even sounds funny when I say it!!
This would explain my black eye...not.
We didn't stay there very long. Denise, Ronnie, Misti (was my bff) and I headed out to the cattle festival.
We ended up running into Misti's parents and her kids (my Godkids). This is Misti, Jannah and I.
I ended up going home early this night, my ribs were killing me and I just wasn't in the drinking mood. I'd never been to the cattle festival though so I had to at least try to go.
Sunday morning I got up early and went to help Diann and Tomy for the cook-off.
Pelican's on the Bayou booth
When I got there Diann and one of their friends/employees Matt were in the middle of making a huge decoration for their booth. This is the brochure for the cook-off, it's also the image that was used for the cook-off posters.
Diann decided to make a life size fleur de lis like the one on the above pic. Matt is an amazing artist so he helped her out with it. They did an amazing job!
As usual I'm not all that organized with my pics sor they're all out of order.
Misti and Diann's dad Frank.
BIL Tomy snacking on something.
It's 9 am and there are already quite a few people there. I had to park almost three blocks away.
Haha...I think Diann's getting aggravated!!
Oh yeah....she's totally aggravated! That's never a good thing!
Getting the artwork hung up
Anthony is a really good friend of Diann and Tomy's who works for them from time to time. This man can cook a mean gumbo!! He was actually featured on "How Do They Do It?" show when they did a story on Tabasco Sauce. They filmed him cooking some gumbo at my sisters restaurant. I'll post the video at the end of this post.
Diann and Tomy (reppin' the tabasco pepper shirt)
The Roux Dat Crew
Can you read those signs? Good Lord the gumbo was GOOD!
Diann and her Dad Frank. This was my first time meeting him (long story), he's a really nice guy and he loves my sister to death! Gotta love him for that.
Tomy and Anthony
That's one big ass bottle of Tabasco
Can you believe that someone stole one of these bottles?? I couldn't believe that. But then I learned a lot about what people will steal on this trip.
Look at that seafood gumbo! 5 different types of crab mean, shrimp and oyster gumbo. They ended up running out of the seafood gumbo about halfway through the day.
Big ol' pot of yumminess!! Chicken and sausage gumbo
Seafood gumbo...and the oar they stirred it with haha
Adding some chicken to the pot
Stir it Anthony
Anthony and Frank
Remember this? Diann and Matt's masterpiece??
That baby won Diann, Tomy and the gang 3rd place for "most unique booth!"
I was surprised that they didn't place for their gumbo. The last four years in a row they've been finalist. But not this year. They didn't care though, they just do it for the fun of it. I would have love to have seen them win though.
To be honest...I'm not sure what this was. Haha...I took so many pictures that I can't remember.
Double, double toil and trouble. Lmao...I love Anthony's expression!!
That's a lot of meat yo!
Diann taking pictures...gotta love her expression
Tomy and Frank
Diann and her Dad
Dago (one of Tomy's good friends) and I serving up da gumbo
This is the video of Anthony on "How Do They Do It?". It's so cool to actually see my sister and her husband's hard work on a tv show. They love Pelican's (on the Bayou) and they're very proud of their business. I'm proud of them too...shhh...don't tell 'em I said that though! Fast forward to the 10:00 mark to see Pelican's, Anthony (AJ) cooking his gumbo and all about Tabasco Sauce. It's really quite interesting!
This is a slide show of pics that BP posted. Wait until you see the size of the crowd! Whew...that's a lot of people cher'!!
That's all for today. I think the only pics I have left of my trip home is pics of food and scenery. I'll post those tomorrow.
Have you booked your flight to Louisiana yet? No? What in the hell are you waiting for people??