This year, the sights and the smells from the World Championship Gumbo Cookoff in New Iberia will have to be seen and smelled through a computer screen.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Championship Gumbo Cookoff will be virtual for the first time in its 31-year history.
Janet Faulk-Gonzales serves as director for the Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the annual World Championship Gumbo Cookoff. The chamber wanted to keep the tradition of the annual event alive, so the group waited as long as they could before ultimately deciding on having a virtual cookoff instead, she said.
“We can’t have the world come visit us for gumbo cookoff because we do have a significant amount of visitors from all over the country (normally),” Faulk-Gonzales said. “And since they can’t come and visit us, we (decided we) would take the cookoff to the world.”
Faulk-Gonzales said she’s encouraging local participants to plan a family gumbo cook off as well as to register for a virtual cooking demonstration.
This year’s cookoff is set to take place Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m. online and feature a cooking class with chef Amy Sins as she takes participants throughout the steps to make the best batch of gumbo, according to Faulk-Gonzales.
“She will do her demonstration from Main Street and we’ll have people from all over the country join in and cook with Amy,” Faulk-Gonzales said. “And hopefully we’ll have local people bring their families and do the same.”
Tickets for Sins’ cooking class will go for $35 and include limited-edition roux spoon (while supplies last), email with the full recipes, mini Tabasco brand pepper sauce and more.
This year’s virtual cookoff will also have an option to purchase a 90-minute video “master class” with past winners with cooking tips for seafood, gumbo, pecan pie and even adult beverages for $15, Faulk-Gonzales said.
To sign up for one of the cooking classes, vist the New Iberia Chamber of Commerce’s website at https://shop.iberiachamber.org/?fbclid=IwAR0TxCMFeL4XuSndes6AAkoeVyrdfX2E-EKBG8cyH50BfH7weO2lvhd6SFo.
“It’s a chance for people to come together, make gumbo, watch the movie and reminisce about past events,” Faulk-Gonzales said.