Saturday, March 29 I’ll secretly match my taste buds against the nine judges at the Gulf Breeze Rotary Gumbo Cookoff. I’m going to sample each entry and let you know how the panel of judges rates against my expertise.
Five are radio personalities, two are professional football players, another is a publisher.
It’s the ninth judge that the gumbo cooks should be ready to impress. Chef Tack Bower is a graduate of the Southeast Institute of Culinary Arts, a certified Culinary Educator and inventor of TackSauce hot sauce. Of course, he might have seered a few taste buds during the development of his product, but he’s a veteran gumbo cook-off judge. I’m also keeping an eye on judge Reggie Slack, who played for the Houston Oilers for three seasons. You can’t live in Houston and not eat a lot of gumbo.
But, I’ve tasted many a bowl of gumbo for this blog, so they’ll have to be on their best game to live up to my standards. My best advice for the novice judge is to pass on the rice. It fills you up so quickly you can’t fairly judge the rest of the bowls. And don’t do any “blind” tasting – it’s important to know what you’re eating when it comes to gumbo – alligator, duck, armadillo – I’ve seen ‘em all.
The gumbo pots will be simmering and ready to sample at 10 a.m.. Come on down to the Gulf Breeze Rotary Gumbo Cookoff at Shoreline Park South overlooking Santa Rosa Sound. $12 buys all you can eat. And, on Sunday check thegumbodiaries to see how the judges and the teams rated.