Everyone welcome to united way pool of united I'm Terry Westerfield and thank you for joining me today this is always one of my favorite shows I don't look forward to it because as we've got some gumbo for it and we're gonna talk about it I want to look into the program Alfred grows as did general manager. All the world's and asked. Who owns what a fabulous hotel welcome now our area. It's good to have you back and thank you for bringing a lot aha they are restaurants were crucial step to cuisine. Data via hi Jana how are you hello doing well Mario I'm doing quite well and my colleague today's joining his breath big miracle is marketing manager at an auto it's not these Louisiana kind of brand. Very well thank you Terry for everybody here. Tuned in today if you've listened to this program you've heard us talk about it it's the annual dot gumbo cook off and this year it is the seventeenth. Event wow play every year we have this god gumbo cook off it benefits what we say a gumbo of services to the community and the gumbo proceeds. Help united ways support the programs and our seven perish service area they can best educate and empower people. To help lift themselves. Out of poverty and we do this because you're not always a bold vision of equitable communities or all individuals are healthy educated. And economically stable in Jefferson Orleans plaque and in Saint Bernard. Saint Tammany tend to Tahoe and Washington parishes. So folks. It is this season Carl pole time is here we've already had some bar. First crews take a roll down the street and now we're going to have our own home region gumbo. And Lotta competition is all in good fun. Our costs is serious. That's how we have to start with you because you are the godfather of gumbo. And it is something that we say with great pride and I hope you had your gumbo vols still you're ready to talk about. How this all got started because it was with you all those years ago. Well Wheeler yes thank you very much and and I left it on every time a fantastic. We see we started this as you said seventeen years ago and we just dreamed of this. Something that was very New Orleans that was very. In indigenous to to our city that we want it to. To do something for. Something fun to benefit united way. And we wanted to make it competitive we could make it fun and we we spent some time we came up with this wonderful idea. Gumbo cook off. And it since has to take you know we we've we've we've tweaked it we can we now have these these these several different categories. And we have a dessert component to it. And and it's turned out to be one of the most popular events of the year and what for we have a lot of gas at the Ross and that's when it comes specifically for that event now. And it's it's really grown taking shape and it's become one of them one of the fun events of the year. What do we have to thank you so very much because the Ras Nesta has always been. This wonderful wonderful community partner for so many but. To us in particular and you are the premier sponsor I can't think of a better place to have this cook off and you're always referred to as they. Jewel in the crown and that is the royals and Esther and I want to talk more about some of the different flavors but the people that are participating. And right now Brandt and ask him a throat TU because let's talk about everybody wants to come let's let them know it is February. 10. And what else can we say. Well take asserts what five dollars per person you can visit the united way as CLA dot org slash gumbo to purchase your tickets. On there will be thirty dollars day of the events in get them in advance to save a little bit of money great restaurants as always some of those that are in house review the rules announced. Restaurant revolution and desire or so far. Along with some restaurants that have been joined joining us for years Dini seafood restaurant. Oceanic grill ruby's true Red Shirts and along with some some newcomers such as English turn golf and country club the MB show at the Ritz Carlton three different categories a lot of exciting things taste and some friendly competition lower. And you say those three categories are wonderful we have our traditional we have seafood and exotic which always brings about some really in interesting recipes so folks February 10 that it is Friday February 10. A place to be. Is the royals and asked to New Orleans that is 300 urban we're going to the grand ballroom from five until 8 PM what a comeback you just a little bit because engenders some great news about that beautiful ballroom. But I'm seeing bowl hopefully shut the crazy enough restaurant Brothers on and miss Jenna is there so we were talking dumbo. Is this something that you've been making all your life for the last and might veto it always sounds like why are you just grew up with it. And did I did very much and grow with them though but I'm from southwest Louisiana. All of our jedi and Indiana and I'm so we'd like he did a son an hour and a and that's good hot like that you've got Tyler deleting absolutely. We usually back home absolutely it's another room as you come up the stairs you know to the house just walk in and you know that rally's Agile warm. Feeling inside knowing there's a gum though brewing and the best thing about gumbo as he can make a huge pot in an only gets better with time so. That's always a beautiful thing. We'll look started off we always hear you've got to start with the roof. That's right yes how to do that that's so easy. Not always what is the best way that you found to make a room. My preference is to make sure that you get your oil right at smoking point set up 375 degrees 380 just as it just starts to smoke. She wanna burn the room which mediate that LL nice and hot so you're not whisking for ever and ever and ever 'cause the longer you actually cook the flower. The less sickening power or had op in the dark nether the less sickening power it will have as well. Yet keep all these you know ideas in mind when you're making your roof. So much that smoking point. Porn have flour and and constantly whisk whisk whisk whisk whisk whisk never stopped. Because if any a little bit edge burns even on the size of the pot you basically it's ruined yet to start over because you're going to have it. And Burke flavor apps that thing you can never get rid of it. I've heard some try to disguise it references and almost a smoky but that's not the case numb. But Jenna being from Acadia are growing up there anyway when I admit to Louisiana all those years ago my first got Benoit case it was Donna Lafayette area. Same thing potato salad in a metal and I thought what is this entry sinking action. It was delicious. But it was chicken and sausage gumbo to raise it's prairie doubled this is what we eat here so is battered traditional gumbo for. I guess it's defined by where you resigned I did I it. Do believe that is a traditional combat. For example. Shuffle subsite I went to his culinary school are also very sure he does you know has seven nations this particular class it's one of the first class as you take and one of the courses is just over gumbo he'd do the traditional got those and actually one of the guy on those is a dried shrimp gumbo. Because in the Louisiana we have a lot of shrimp the smaller shrimp that we don't necessarily. Like to use holes so they'll dry them so you don't just sacrifice these tiny little shrimp don't brine them though Reinemund had a very unique flavor. But that indeed is a traditional gumbo as well that shall find. In those areas gay don't Kaplan places like that on and they like to put boiled eggs and gumbo as well especially in a seafood gumbo. I grew up primarily eating a lot of goose gumbo because punting is very you know prominent where I'm from. On this could be wiped brands or our speckled belly also you know all the wild game he could have venison sausage and you're gone bad you could also have wild duck gumbo. So it's what ever really that bounty of the land so they you have to put it now that would be made before our purposes considered exotic gumbo and maybe I that's currently. And so you've got some wonderful things there and seafood well we pretty much at that he's got tribute that crab oysters talk to anything goes is an it. Absolutely and don't forget alligator there's always Alec. I think he'll be out. Maybe that's on exotic and other parts. The country that is here are okay and Portland weight without giving anything away now you wanna give missile insight into what you might be considering Saturday night until alligator and I dumbo reload revelation. Look at everybody should cover your ears because of the other restaurants are listening it's the hardest part you know you don't have to walk around and shop with your eyeballs first because look I don't envy the challenge of these judges that I and its. Okay and if so I asked a lot of I wanna tell you about the judges. You bring that thank your bring that because of talk about we've got some great judges are I'm calling you're our chief judge our celebrity judge. Judy walker who has been with us for many years former food editor of the times Picayune Alva. A blogger extraordinaire and cookbook author I think eight cookbook store name. So Judy Walker's going to be there are Susan Ford wonderful she is the editor writer and editor of Louisiana kitchen and culture. So she's not all things restaurants and chefs from all over and restaurant jurors and just lots of things to talk about it also Lauren Gaudin people listening Mano who aren't she is the self proclaimed. Food got espanola through Scottish refinery hash tag. And Lauren likewise a wonderful cookbook author writer and editor so she's got a lot going on Alfred restart now Alfred is an old friend. He's a mild mannered hard working by day employee of New Orleans parish school board. But it night in my final munching popcorn and watching big screen. Movies is he's getting ready to do a review. For a local television station or actually might be limber up a little bit because he is it chocolate thunder with a 610 this urged. So we have we have a lot of forethought and please police Brent tell us about. The other is we have to well Bob Kimbrough who is the united way southeast Louisiana's. Campaign cabinet chair and managing partner and he while Louisiana. He is thrilled about this can't stop talking about it and as such a great partner to have. And he's ready go that's all he could talk the talk I'm we also Morgan for joining us Susie community manager here at Yelp. New Orleans and for those of you not familiar Yelp is the great online search and review site and mobile app. With millions of active users worldwide where you can sort of browse restaurants and hotels and everything service oriented and Morgan's just really involved in the community a lot of local businesses know her and lover and she's thrilled to Jones is well yelled. Is joining us as a media partner this year and I thankful for that so there are helping us get the word out. And like where separate out we have well I didn't forget kind of like you brought it up to other partners was awed and our premier sponsor is as always a wonderful. Gross domestic New Orleans hotel but we also have the united way of southeast Louisiana as our women's leadership council. And they're a group of women their mission is to support. Unique health and human service needs of women and children in our region and they get through leadership philanthropy. And abacus C they are focused also on volunteerism on behalf of women and children's causes because they believe that when women and children thrive. Communities thrive. And that is surely the truth. And also we have our friends who are one of our our companies that have been running united way campaigns for so many years. We have to thank our friends at app missed energy that was energy is one of the natural gas distributor pitchers over three million. Natural gas distributor customers. In 14100. Communities in eight states and of course that includes. Here in Louisiana. And they also are the largest natural gas just divert our distributor all get that out in Louisiana Mississippi and Texas so. The actress folks always there ready to help and did wonderful volunteers so we sure appreciate that because all these folks come together. This really again what a lovely event the seventeenth annual dot gumbo cook off. And in the beautiful beautiful grand ballroom I can't get up today. A hospital royal suggests Al you're telling me briefly before we started. There are some new things going on at the hotel and something new that we're going to see what we show up on Friday February 10. That's correct and at first I need to correct that are brought out that this is a friendly competition that is fears not. You don't feel as hot as down. You have to if you haven't been to this contest before you will see. The that's the fiercest competition these ships taken very seriously they're nice to each other and outside that they wanna win. There's no doubt you you can see it and when the end when the winners are announced you can see that the camaraderie and that and the pride that these ships ball. Excuse and it's it's really really fantasy. So yeah they're they're very friendly and I don't know hey there we go or where they don't win. There had been doing it here's the glitch in grimaced office seeking hot and that's correct well all semester I had to your question and to your question at the Ross and yes there's always something going on into 2015 we did that complete renovation. Don't tell anybody hasn't seen that it's it was a major renovation all news. Furniture and all new fixtures equipment new bathrooms etc. And fitness facility. But then for twice for 2016. We actually did they re imagining of the grand ballroom which of course is the stage for the gumbo cook off. And we also that are equipped kitchen as well so I'm. Excellent people come and it's really transformational. So if you see are almost always been beautiful and great practice designers and a wonderful job and as you walk in there now. It's you know it's just it's a while. So how can he be bigger while it was already the most amazing uh oh there's so get ready if you're content I don't want to get into okay what what do you could color schemes and all of these kinds of things because I want people comments here. Experience enjoy it. And and we've had you know many many site visits from customers and and actually from some of our competitors and they all come in and just been wound by by the the work that was done in that area it was. It was really remarkable so. Another attraction this year has always something new with the rules and that's the in addition to all the other things that we do you know we have all of the all the wonderful things of the world we have the teacher's coffee experience. We have a desire oyster bar now featuring troubled oysters which I think who licensee and that of course my comrade here and Janet is. She's a sizzle you know restaurant revolution has only gotten better since she's taken over. And her or her wonderful culinary skills are on display every day. Until what it is sounds great it's how it's going to be. A monstrous job I just have to ask you ever sleep. Because there isn't it always going on and when you have the power and prestige of being the general manager of this beautiful beautiful hotel. That it does so many things you're in business to be a business but you are really true Philanthropic leader in the service industries well. Well you know the part of the Ross NASA's mission is a culture of care and culture Carrey takes place it it it really transcends itself. Not only to our associates and all of our our family of employees really but also to the communities that we serve. And it's it's one of our missions it's one of the things that we look forward to. On an ongoing basis and we look for new things to do all the time. And it's it's really part of our are forever. We it is gumbo cook off has a carnival theme we've already talked about our parade of gumbo and ready get back and tell you a little bit more about some of the restaurants but. Again and here we are it is carnival season. Al what do you say about the rose and asked her that. Are you hooked up as usual you re doing egg freezing in the polls Cynthia young immature and decreasing in the polls Friday before more requests this year we have two weekends of the start firstly in a more rigorous school something special because. In addition to the parades going on what that we had in the NBA all star on. Game that witch trials which will bring it and another layer of excitement to the city. And then of course we get into the carnival weekend the main market for a weekend where are we we kick off. That we kick off Mortimer every year at 10 AM and reaching those polls and and if you have been to that event it is one of the most popular events. In front of the Ross and us to where we put on it's it would put on quite a show. At the end of the day we're always greasy Apollo. Slip all the work cleaning up to it as well the funny. I'd do it is it you're right in the center of everything and again that's what we're so proud thank you once more for being the previous spot you are partner without. The roast master that would not be I got gunboat cacophony it's it's just lovely that you're here and and Jack again what a fabulous restaurants. And your hinting it may be. Alligator in the gumbo but. Are you doing one you're doing to do you know what your competitors because you have friends chefs who are also. Have restaurants there in the senate staff. That's right. We will be sharing the news. With desire oyster bar. So they'll be partnering with us on our table. And I know I'm not certain when desires doing mentioning a few tricks up their sleeve I think we're kind of both you know China could hide behind us and our walls of Pratt and keep our little secret because you know like Al said in the end it's all friendly competition night but you'd like to win. You wanna take that big gamble come on guys we do something we in my. Who Lleyton you know and that's one of my favorite parts about this actual event is seen. The uniqueness and the creativity from all the ships around the city you know who's doing online and you know how creative word they went greens are they using. You know and and then one getting a walk around and taste everything and be I was really great Allah as I was different you know and and then they had that traditional and right on right on the nose you know so it's it's really just funds saw about. Am always taken by how many other ships will kind of come in the side doors from other restaurants. They have their names of the restaurant or dirty or border in the pocket so it's not really that there are spotting it early you know here they are but. They're checking it out there are hoping they'll be listening and and three if not this year for next but. Like you can't they wanna go and tastes the competition absolutely and then this year are new pastry chef Jacky Lopez doing. Eight specialty. Can take some kind which I don't know what it is quite frankly if you tell me it's a surprise wolf safari on the ten. And baby please if you could talk some more now because you've been working so closely. With both the folks at restaurants all the great chefs that are Eric talks of organic if you will about. Just all the restaurants that are participating. Should we don't know or do you know if they're making just wander two or three because folks when UConn by 25 dollars gets you a lot. It may not just be X amount of restaurants. They come home with one or two and we have a friend unseat an odd way mr. Charlie often comes with three so. It. That's Odierno try to win every category. But. So. Again we have we have the three different categories best exotic seafood industry additional and at this point in the process. You know Bristol kind of holding it close ups and can the event is next Friday well we're following up are trying to see exactly where they're gonna bring as you know we wanna talk about it want people to. Come attend the event which is a steel at 25 dollars a person get to try fifteen different types of gumbo. But I just just run down the list were gonna have 1718 catering and I agree and see ruby sure at the Sheraton Charlie's restaurant. 555. At the New Orleans marry up Dini seafood restaurant the corporation bar and grill. Steamboat Natchez is joining us this year along with Tulane Sodexo and university of Louisiana Lafayette Sodexo. Oceanic grilled. Desire oyster bar of course and restaurant revolution. Rose and asked as Alvarez mentioned will be bring in the deserts and English turn golf and country club along with MB stroke at the Ritz Carlton and so that's our full line up. I know they're we're gonna get their best shot. No I think we need to establish an award for somebody who actually can taste. Or maybe more than taste eat every give up and take us about how they do it. And it it it's it's it's amazing because they all are different state and that's Jon you said everything is unique. To the chef whether how here she is making it and we'll share that love as a key ingredient to. Actually he. I'm not an end Brett you know since some some restaurants bring more than one on the list really fifteen demos Europe it's more like if she's 20/20 five gumbo soaring more. We don't know how many entries are gonna have so. There's there's more value there for a all of you out there looking to eat some gumbo if you chefs are out there that are coming bring it. And I. And Janice ready to take you walk and that's for sure that's right let's go to and we talk eating and I do I we love our our celebrity judges who were coming. How they can taste. All those numbers because they do. Big category is kind of broken up like this in its blind taste testing folks so you can try in any and you know. Get the average I've been here she is not getting now because. So these brought it in a bowl its online to script it's just taste so that a Roma and and again that's that's how I guess it. They won't is very important when you're eating anything but particularly think gumbo hijack. Yes of course you know and it's all about memories too like this and childhood memories it's connected to the big usual warm feeling inside. And yes those around us are most important that smell of that rue. I mean you can tell authorised and burn in a gumbo by simply smelling them gumbo the different herbs people are using especially in the exotic category you know the there could be a lot going on smoke using smoked meats. Adding that layer of a smoking ends. And really just kind of get shared get your palate ready as you're smelling and that gumbo itself you know preparing itself for what it's about taste get those saliva gland. It is under legal and that unit to these judges are there first rate food he's an online and you know some of them and Janet T you've heard or read and a they they'd love it here and they love their food and handing him a good gumbo and at least one. And it in this celebrity judges Judy walker she's in forward Lauren go to an Alfred Ree shard. Morgan Ford Bob Kimbrough while got some great folks. But what but you have to also remember our hot you are about to go there yes our and I did I ever go against it. You know and everything and everyone that comes is also which all of its. Because a I'll just because we have the lead the most prized award of all of course is the people's choice award. So anyone that comes is also judge I had almost forgotten it is the power of the people that's the big one that that is because. We have our judges with a refined taste sides but that's about all the rest of you were attending. Who've purchased your ticket for a mere 25 dollars or thirty at the door that is February 10. 300 urban the grand ballroom to Ross announced at five GA at the united all in but it is it power of the people you get to vote. And we tally everything up it is honest about forty PCs are our pencils are scratch that is where. Checking out the ballots so that something very special but I also wanted to mention someone special on that oh my goodness I had forgotten. But he's been with us a long time as power. Favorite and see he is an act tour. He is day sometimes provocative. He is our back on tour. And his name is John spud McConnell. And yes he'll be there and see everything and keep it. Fun and lively and and he's going to Giacomo Omaha Louisiana Lafayette as a big time Asia. Everett police what to get some of our our sponsors to we could name some of them because we have our. Our premier sponsor of course our friends were also asked tough but we also have VW LC which is the winds leadership. Council of southeast you know it southeast Louisiana. Atmos Energy but also few beyond restaurants have been because they offer things we have a wonderful raffle. That's right we have great raffle prizes including dinners and hotel stays. Smart work from doctor Bob. And again you mentioned our sponsors atlas energy great partner. Tremendous corporate campaign. On there will be there anyway regardless they're there every year. No they really enjoy the event on the united way our own women's leadership council level presence on side you know obviously. They wanted to be of a big part of the event this year and have a presence. And Yelp you know Yelp is really come to the table and decided they wanted would like to be the media partner with us. And really wanna help us promote the event so that the valuable partners. None greater than the rules and Astor hotel. Rate in the heart of French quorum urban street. You really can't be it's the premier gumbo event of the year. And from what I can see from our our weather folks it looks like it's gonna be a beautiful night. So calm on how to enjoy enjoy and if you want to purchase tickets. Where's the best place to that these way to do that is is to get on our web site it's united way SE LA dot org. Slashing gumbo and it's a quick and easy check out process. Just. Purchase as many tickets feel like. And if you don't get them before you and we will be selling them out the door. For thirty dollars. The day but you know again get permanent ban expire for your friends have hump you know and again 25 dollars per person advance or can come. The night of and a spark up in pursuit it if you are now you mentioned earlier that. Some of the folks there who stick to the hotel they they enjoy they come down it's fun they get involved. And now it's like to tell the story because. There was a couple that I met several years ago are now. And he looked familiar but they were just locals turned out. They would come from upstate New York I believe it was. In college Delhi's travel about this time of year to who wants but they loved the hotel. Made a point ST neurosis to the door actually contacting us to find out now. What are you calling that gamble that again and then they'd make your reservations because it's a favor hotel and under the gun boat. Cook off that's I always thought was it was quite lovely so we are now near and far just like a hotel. That's correct that's correct. Didn't know that it is there's not a better place really that to come and experience. That that wonderful. Creation that is gumbo. For all the different types of varieties of different types of shifts interpretations. And it is just. It just what your palate don't needle thing he had a. And make sure make sure yes you do come hungry in pace yourself. Now I know that Douglas and restaurants serve a little Emmett costs so it's probably best no matter how good it is you would get a tasty and everything just. Well look a couple of spoonful and then move on to the next because otherwise you might miss something. That's right you make sure you get the full experience in trial all the mini jumbos and don't forget about deserts food that's true too. If you've got a sweet tooth we've got you covered especially the mystery king cake that who has who was a lovely pictures show up again out. Jackie Jackie so we have to keep an eye out for Jackie what she's going to have. Oh sure thank you so so very much for joining me today offered gross who is the general manager of morals and asked to New Orleans. Restaurant revolution shot to Chrissie. Jenna BO. And the wonderful breath figure my partner and colleague in crime the marketing manager of united way of southeast Louisiana. Folks united way of southeast Louisiana has a blueprint for prosperity. We want to eradicate poverty in our region and are strategically investing in programs and initiatives collaborations. And advocacy efforts to meet our community's greatest needs we have a bold vision of and equitable communities or all are healthy educated and economically stable. But the fine fund raising com to that seventeenth annual got gumbo I'm Jerry Westerfield and for united way joined me everyone. Live here in united.