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Monday, March 14, 2016


A variety of chefs compete for top gumbo contest


A variety of chefs compete for top gumbo contest

Chefs from all over the South will get their gumbo ready for the ultimate battle to see who has the best recipe.

The fourth annual Battle of the Gumbo Gladiators will be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 19 at the Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport.

This battle benefits Volunteers for Youth Justice, a nonprofit organization that holds a vision for helping at-risk youth in the community. For over 30 years, Volunteers for Youth Justice has helped thousands of children stay out of the juvenile justice system, and have advocated and intervened in the lives of many children in crisis.

“This fundraiser is a great way to get family and friends together for a fun day of cooking gumbo and having a great time, all while raising funds for Volunteers for Youth Justice,” Amie Baham, development director for Volunteers of Youth Justice, said.

During the main event, chefs from all around the Ark-La-Tex area will compete for cash prizes and, of course, bragging rights in many different categories, including seafood, non-seafood, team spirit and the annual People’s Choice Award.

We’re looking forward to an even greater turnout of teams in 2016, some great-tasting gumbos and a good crowd of gumbo lovers ...”

– Amie Baham

Anyone is allowed to enter, from amateur chefs, to at-home cooks, to restaurant teams.

Battle of the Gumbo Gladiators is free for general admission, while each bowl of gumbo costs $1. Those who purchase gumbo can then cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award. All winners will be announced at 4 p.m.

“Battle of the Gumbo Gladiators is always such a fun event with great food!” Baham said. “There will be over 50 different gumbos to taste.” In years past, competitors have come from as far away as Austin, Texas, and Breaux Bridge, bringing their own unique taste of the South to the table.

This year’s fundraiser will boast more than 25 vendors, all of whom will offer attendees of all ages a wide variety of food, arts and crafts, face painting, Louisiana-themed gifts to purchase and more – along with special new events.

“New to the fundraiser this year is a special children’s area that consists of inflatables from Bayou Bouce,” Baham said.

Volunteers for Youth Justice consists of three different programs including court, youth and court appointed special Advocates. All of these programs rely on community volunteers to provide advocacy for child victims of abuse or neglect and those who are at-risk of being involved in the juvenile court system. The programs provide developmentally appropriate, consequential and educational diversion services for first time juvenile offenders.

“Our goal is to raise more than $25,000 for Volunteers for Youth Justice, all while bringing awareness of our organization and its on-going need for volunteers,” Baham said.

–Betsy St. Amant


For more information on the event, go to www.gumbogladiators.com or find out more at https://www.facebook.com/GumboGladiators/?ref=hl.


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