The Gumbo Cookoff Makes a Welcome and Savory Return to the NSU Folklife Festival

The 2023 NSU Folklife Festival saw the long-awaited return of one of its most popular events – the Gumbo Cookoff. This year saw a fierce culinary battle as the different chefs filled the air outside of Prather Coliseum with a tantalizing aroma. After the judging took place, festivalgoers were able to enjoy cups of gumbo from each contestant and vote on their favorite.

Joel Sylvie won in the seafood category.

Laurie and Merryll Smith took top honors in the Poultry Plus category.

Natchitoches’ own Elvin Shields was the People’s Choice

The Gumbo Cookoff is more than a cooking contest. It is a celebration of one of Louisiana’s signature foods and a symbol of the many parts that come together to make our state the uniquely wonderful place that it is.