Gumbo Gladiators deadline nears

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SHREVEPORT – The second annual Battle of the Gumbo Gladiators gumbo cook-off will accept team registrations until Saturday, March 22. The event, a fundraiser for Volunteers for Youth Justice, will take place March 29, 2014 at Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport.

The inaugural event in March 2013 attracted 1,600 attendees who sampled 31 gumbo entries prepared by 24 teams.

“Based on the incredible feedback we received from attendees at our first gumbo cook-off about the need for an event like this in our area, the 2014 Battle of the Gumbo Gladiators will be even bigger and better,” said Planning Committee Chair Angie White. “We expect at least 30 teams to compete and our judging process this year is quite sophisticated, with more judges, more categories for awards and naming first, second and third place winners for the gumbo categories.”

Teams were predominantly from Shreveport-Bossier, but many have South Louisiana roots and one team traveled from Scottsdale, Arizona to compete. Teams were made up of passionate home and tailgating cooks, caterers and professional chefs.

Regional celebrity judges selected the winning team for each of the seafood and non-seafood categories, and attendees selected the People’s Choice winner. The winner of the seafood category was The Spicy Crabs, non-seafood was Roux the Day and the People’s Choice winner was Gumbooyah.

Another feature of the event will be an expanded arts and crafts shopping village that will include children’s activities.

To register a team or learn more about the event, visit www.gumbogladiators.com, follow the event on Facebook or call Volunteers for Youth Justice at 318-425-4413.

All proceeds of the event support the work of Volunteers for Youth Justice, a nonprofit organization with a mission to train and support volunteers as they intervene in the lives of children who are at risk of being involved in the juvenile court system. Learn more at www.vyjla.org.