How Many Types Of Gumbo Are There?

Contributed by Steve Carrington

2nd Annual Gumbo Cook-off
10/6/2018 – 2PM
Connect Palmer
Church on the Rock
619 Scott Rd. Palmer
Tickets: FREE Kids (Ages 0-4), $5 Kids (Ages 5-12), $10 Adults

Gumbo is a stew popular in the U.S. state of Louisiana, and that state's official state cuisine. It may have originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century, possibly as a stew of the Choctaws served over corn grits. Wikipedia tells us gumbo consists primarily of a strongly-flavored, roux-based stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and what Louisianians call the "Holy Trinity" of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onions.

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In other words, there are many, many types of gumbo. But what if I could tell you when and where you can try a dozen types of gumbo in one afternoon? Well, it’s coming. Connect Palmer has their 2nd Annual Gumbo Cook-off on October 6th. Last year, we had seven chefs presenting their different types of gumbo and four presenting their bread pudding recipes.

Competition was fierce. Sarah’s Angels put forth a great effort presenting both gumbo and bread pudding. The Set Free Freedom Fighters were intimidating with their swords and warning motto of “Choose Your Weapon!” The Blue Angels were knocked out of the Gumbo Race by the Crazy Cox Crew Team with their mild and savory family recipe that came in third place. But the Blue Angels did manage to take second place with their bread pudding just ahead of Pauline of the LaForest Clan with their chocolate chip bread pudding. Al and Tanjala Eischens came in second in the Gumbo Race with her medium-spicy gumbo. But, who won? Well, all those people that got to sample all these different recipes of gumbo and bread pudding - that’s who!

But, if you want to know all the details, Stormie of Team Oh My Gumbo! made a clean sweep with both her spicy vegetarian gumbo and her unique bread pudding recipe. Now, there are rumors that the spiciest gumbo with balloons for decoration will automatically win this Gumbo Cook-off. But, I know some competitors who are raring for another go this October 6th! In fact, one serious contender has already registered for this year!

Last year, there was a Sam’s Cajun Corner Display honoring Sherry Carrington’s father. When she worked for Father’s House in Fairbanks, for the first six years of that ministry, her father, Sam Cox, would do an annual fundraiser, Gumbo Feed. He would make a hot gumbo and a mild gumbo (for Sherry and her mom) and fresh bread and bread pudding. Sourdough Sam went to mush dogs in heaven some years ago, but Sherry wanted to honor him with the Gumbo Cook-off Fundraiser. She knows that if he were still on earth, he would be cooking gumbo with the best of them to raise money for helping those in need.

This fundraiser is to benefit Connect Palmer and Sarah’s House. Sarah’s House is one of the ways Connect Palmer helps ladies in our community to have a safe place to live while participating in LifeConnect, a life skills program, and God’s Work Design, a work-ready program for individuals trying to get back into the workforce. Sarah’s House is a ministry of Connect Palmer Inc., which is a 501(c)3 charity registered with the IRS and the State of Alaska.

Chefs will have the ability to show off their best gumbo and/or bread pudding recipes on Saturday, October 6th, from 2pm-5pm, at Church on the Rock Palmer at 619 Scott Road. Participants will be sampling the gumbo and bread pudding recipes and voting for their favorites! Our mascot is Pierre Richard (Reeshard), a little red crawdad who is famous for photobombing people in his crusade for everyone to eat gumbo. Look for his photobombing escapades at or the website.

This is the 2nd Annual Gumbo Cook-off. Chefs pay a registration fee of $25 ($20 if you register before September 29th) and dinner tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids, ages 5-12, (under 5 are free). There will great prizes for cook-off winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd) and an online/silent auction for those attending. You can see a preview at

Information and registration are available at Connect Palmer at 202 S. Alaska Street in Palmer or at their website,, or call (907) 746-9675 and speak with Sherry.