* * *
Hello friends! You may be tired of hearing me talk about it by now if we're friends on Facebook, but I just cannot get over my excitement of this weekend's Treme Creole Gumbo Festival! The NO tourism board teamed up with PETA and conspired to do something AMAZING: Every vendor will feature a vegan gumbo! And you can taste them all for just $3 each! As far as Vegan New Orleans can suss out, that means eight different vegan gumbos to try.
Just let that sink in for a minute: Eight. Different. Vegan. Gumbos. Right here in the heart of New Orleans. Yes. Yes! YES!!
Here's what the event's organizers, the Jazz and Heritage Festival folks, have to say about the vegan gumbo situation:
VEGAN GUMBO CONTEST
Vegan gumbo? Have we lost our minds?
Well, maybe. But let's face it: New Orleans cooking may be famous around the world, but it's not exactly known for being the most healthful. And it's been well-documented that large segments of our population - especially in the African-American community - suffer from conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and lactose intolerance (which reportedly affects some 75 percent of African-Americans) that can be reduced with a healthier diet.
So to bring more attention to the benefits of healthy eating, we’ve organized a Vegan Gumbo Contest in collaboration with our friends at the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation and PETA.
Vegan cooking basically means no animal products. So, no meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, butter, milk, cream… you get the idea. Not in the stock, not in the roux, not in the pot.
Some of our chefs may go even further and make their dishes gluten-free, by avoiding any wheat products such as wheat-based flour.
Here’s how our Vegan Gumbo Contest works: All eight of our food vendors will offer their own unique vegan versions of gumbo. Tasting portions (six ounces) will be available for $3, along with regular portions (12 ounces) for $6. We invite everyone to try as many as you can. We’ll provide ballot cards, and the audience will be invited to vote for their favorites. We’ll start counting the ballots at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10, and will announce the winners shortly after.Are you convinced yet? As for me, I'll be there when the gates open on Saturday, ready to peruse the arts market between bowls of vegan gumbo! HUZZAH!
On Saturday, Nov. 9, a group of distinguished celebrity judges will sample all the vegan gumbos starting at 11:45 a.m., and we will announce their favorites at 12:15 p.m.
For both the celebrity judging and the audience ballot, we have arranged for first, second and third place prizes with awesome donations from the Restaurant Depot, the Food Network and Whole Foods.