This weekend we’re holding our 3rd Annual Gumbo Smackdown at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center. I’ll be competing against local chefs Brandon Guenther, Jeff Mall, Jeff Reilly and Josh Silvers — and the competition is getting intense. Last year the Golden Crayfish Award stayed here when we kept it local with Willie Bird Turkey & Dungeness Crab Gumbo, but this year we’re going out on a limb.
The Kendall-Jackson Culinary team will be making Braised Turtle & Roasted Chicken Gumbo paired with Vintner’s Reserve Summation. Turtle is traditionally served in Louisiana in soups and gumbo. Not many people have tried turtle meat, so I think this will be an interesting dish.
The other gumbos in the competition are:
Game Bird Gumbo with Tasso Ham and Wild Rice
Chef Brandon Guenther
Paired with Highland Estates Alisos Hills Syrah
Liberty Duck and Zin-Made Andouille Sausage Gumbo with Crispy Boudin Balls
Chef Jeff Mall
Paired with Vintner’s Reserve Zinfandel
Smoked Chicken & Rib Gumbo with Cornmeal Waffles
Chef Jeff Reilly
Paired with Grand Reserve Pinot Noir
Oh Heck, Yeah Gumbo with Creole Fried Chicken & Dungeness Crab
Celebrity Chef Josh Silvers
Paired with Highland Estates Taylor Peak Merlot
We have a great line up this year and I’m really looking forward to trying each of these gumbos. There will also be live music by the Tri Tip Trio, a Cajun/Zydeco/New Orleans Blues band. It a fun, interactive event, because you, the guests, are also the judges – when the guests arrive they are given Mardi Gras beads to present to the chef of their favorite gumbo. Hope to see you there.
Tickets should be purchased in advance as this is always a popular event (you can stop by the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center Tasting Room on Fulton Road or by calling 707-571-8100).