Battle of the Gumbo Gladiators Set for Saturday

The Northwest Louisiana Battle of the Gumbo Gladiators, a new fundraiser benefiting Volunteers for Youth Justice, will debut in downtown Shreveport’s Festival Plaza this Saturday, March 9, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The inaugural festival will feature 28 teams and 32 pots of gumbo vying for cash prizes (and, more importantly, bragging rights) in the categories of seafood gumbo, non-seafood gumbo and people’s choice award. Admission to the event is free, but guests are encouraged to bring some spending cash. Tasting-sized samples of each gumbo will be available for $1, bowls will cost $4. Judges include former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, Killin’ n’ Grillin’ star Randal Reeder, restaurateurs Gerald Savoie and Orlando Chapman, and radio personality Erin McCarty. All of the money collected during the event will be be donated to Volunteers for Youth Justice.

Event organizer Angie White says that the event came about because Volunteers for Youth Justice was seeking a new, different kind of fundraising event. “We needed something with mass appeal,” White said. “And what that means, to me, is food. When you look at the landscape of food-focused events in Shreveport Bossier, the huge, glaring void is a gumbo cook-off.”

A photo of musician Glenn Rainey
The Glenn Rainey Band will perform at Battle of the Gumbo Gladiators.

One gumbo team is traveling from Arizona to compete, another is driving up from Eunice, La. A few well-known local chefs and restaurants are also participating, including Michael OBoyle of Gulf Pig Underground Dinner Club, Carolyn Manning of Carolyn’s Catering, and Tina Palmisano from Ernest’s Orleans.

The event will also feature live music by the Glenn Rainey Band beginning at noon, frozen treats from Geauxsicles and more.

RSVP to the event via Facebook.

Photography note: The image of the Glenn Rainey Band used in this post has been used for purposes of promoting the band. If you own this image and would like it to be removed, please contact Chris Jay at cjay@sbctb.org.

2 comments

  1. Thanks for the mention in the article… We are an all girl team…We will be representing Ernest’s Orleans Restaurant. It is an honor to be cooking for the fundraising event for the Youth Justce Program. We feel that these programs and level of participation in them are very important in our community. These kids are so worth it… And to think they we could actually inspire one or two to carry on a real Louisiana tradition “cookin Louisiana style” brings much joy to hearts. I have spent 5 years with legendary Chef Ernest Palmisano And consider it to be an honor to cook on behalf for him, plus all the good gumbos we get to sample makes it 3 times easier! Seee ya there!

    1. Hi, Chef Tina Marie! We’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the Gumbo Gladiators event. I really hated to miss it, but I was traveling for work. What an innovative, fun fundraising concept! Cannot wait for next year – I definitely won’t miss it again! Thanks for reading our blog.

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