Friday, March 22, 2013

Calling all foodies, professional and great gumbo cooks

Chef John Folse and L.A. Gumbo Festival serve up $4,000 in cash prizes

Renowned restaurateur and Louisiana’s Culinary Ambassador to the World, Chef John Folse, has teamed up with Alabama restaurateur and former University of Alabama and Miami Dolphin great, Bob Baumhower, to create the inaugural L.A. Gumbo Festival set for April 11–13 at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Ala.
The Ala vs. La showdown came from the “World’s Largest Gumbo” and “Tailgate Cook-off” that Chef Folse did in Tuscaloosa in November 2011.  It was so much fun, Bob Baumhower thought to pit the professionals against each other.

"I can’t wait to get back to Alabama to beat our ‘World’s Largest Gumbo’ record that was set in November 2011," said Chef Folse.  "Orange Beach and L.A., that’s Lower Alabama, are becoming a second home for me."
The festival features a Gumbo Cook-off, pitting Louisiana foodies and professional chefs against Alabama’s “alleged” gumbo cooks.  Both the foodie division and professional division begin cooking at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 13th at The Wharf.  Judging begins at 11:30 a.m. with cash prizes awarded in both categories.  Prizes in the Foodie Category include $200 for 3rd place, $300 for 2nd place and $500 for first place. 
The same prizes will be awarded in the Professional Division, but prizes are awarded to both the Louisiana and Alabama chefs.  Additionally, the first place winners in the professional category for both Louisiana and Alabama will compete for the Grand Champion title and an additional $1,000.  Additional prizes of $500 each will be awarded for People’s Choice gumbo and Best Decorated Booth. 

The L.A. Gumbo Festival is free and open to the public.  Competition tasting tickets for the “People’s Choice” award are $2 each or 30 tickets for $20. 

Entry fees are for the Foodie Division $50 per contestant and for the Professional Division $250 per contestant.  Interested parties can register for the competition online at, then mail the registration form, payment and a copy of your recipe to: L.A. Gumbo Festival, 26801 Railroad Ave., Loxley, AL 36551.  Deadline for registration is Monday, April 5.

For rules, regulations and registration in either the foodie or professional division OR for more information on the festival, please visit or contact Kent Lynam (251) 408-7973 or email or Michaela York at

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