NEW IBERIA — The World Championship Gumbo Cookoff is happening this weekend in New Iberia. More than 60 cooks will compete to see who makes the best gumbo.
It's a sign of normalcy during the pandemic. Last year, the event was held virtually, meaning no one was able to eat gumbo. Organizers say they are ready to see people in person out on the streets.
"We had some events, demonstrations, and things to talk about and promote downtown New Iberia, promote the gumbo cookoff, it was virtual that way. The Ça C'est Bon Cooking Demonstration, and another cooking demonstration was virtual," CEO of Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce Thomas Falgout explained.
All day Friday, crews set up dozens of tents, cooks started to arrive, and street names were changed to gumbo ingredients.
"Over 60 teams, three different categories, seafood, chicken and sausage, and the Mélange, which can be anything - okra, duck, rabbit, I even said squirrel once. Who knows if squirrel is in a gumbo, but if it is, it's going to be in the Mélange category," said Falgout.
While some things may look the same as years past, Falgout, says state recommendations will be followed, including social distancing.
"Wear a mask, do so, we'll have hand sanitizer at every booth. There's some things that are different then the way we used to do things, but it's here," he added. "And we have to learn to live with it, move through things. That's what we're doing. We're following the states guidelines for outdoor events."
Gumbo will be served starting at 11 am on Sunday. If you can't wait until then, the youth gumbo cookoff takes place Saturday at 3 pm.
"You're going to get the best gumbo you ever had, right here Downtown New Iberia," Falgout said.
For a complete list of events, click here.