Cook-offs abound in coming weeks

by Elizabeth Rose

Fall is here and what better way to enjoy the outdoors than to gorge on the foods that we make best in Lafayette. Two gumbo cook-offs are on the horizon: one for the Realtors Association of Acadiana that will benefit Habitat for Humanity, and the other by Stone Energy to benefit the United Way of Acadiana.

The Realtors Association's 22nd annual gumbo cook-off will be Thursday, Oct. 11 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Parc International. Competing teams will serve bottomless gumbo bowls for $10 per person.

The theme this year is "Gumbo with the Stars" and Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin' Cajuns will provide the music. At 6:30, judges will decide the winner of the children's costume contest - and children under 5 years old receive complimentary entry. For more information, contact Kathy and the association's office at 233-0086 or [email protected].

Stone Energy is hosting its gumbo cook-off on Oct. 18 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Cajun Field. Entry is $5, which includes a chance to meet Jake Delhomme, a car and bike show, live music, raffle and silent auction. Raffle tickets are $2 and participants can win a custom-built crawfish boiler, an IPad, two nights at Windsor Court New Orleans, a Chargrill gas grill, two nights at Homewood Suites Lafayette or a $200 gift card to The Golf Connection.

And who can forget the famous boudin cook-off on Oct. 20? The event is in its fifth year and benefits the Historic Preservation Alliance of Lafayette. Make your way to Parc Sans Souci downtown from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for all the boudin you could ever desire. Entries include Nunu's, T-Boy's, Billeaud's, Chop's, Johnson's Boucaniere, Early's Cajun Supermarket, Mike's Country Corner, Cochon, J.W.'s Meats and Smokehouse - and one entry all the way from Austin, Texas: Fatback Boucherie. If you have confidence in your stomach, enter the boudin-eating contest.

Entry to the cook-off is free, and there will be free food samples from Uncle's BBQ Sauce and Blue Bell Creamery. The event is family-friendly with fun jumps, face painting and games.