There is something in the air and it’s headed straight for Okaloosa County but, what’s brewing is not weather related this time.
It’s the chefs who are stirring the pots.
The flavors, the medley of seafood and the delicious smells have taken over the atmosphere in Okaloosa County as 10 local chef’s are competing to take home the trophy of Best Gumbo on the Emerald Coast.
The 8th Annual First City Bank’s Gumbo Cook Off brought nearly 400 people together for a flavorfull event.
“This has Morphed into something that is just incredible,” said Mark Dutram, First City Bank Vice President.
All of the resturaunts came ready to serve and eager to win but, one team came with their game faces on and turned up the heat.
“We are here with the crab trap to defend our title and to win it once again,” shared Rudy Adams, The Crab Trap.
“We decided to parented up with a charity and now all of the proceeds go to a charity that is near and dear to my heart,” explained Dutram.
So not only did people go home with their bellies full but, they went home with happy hearts knowing that they were helping make a difference in the community.
The local nonprofit is called, Fresh Start for Families and Children.
“What we do is help homeless families or families that are facing homelessness,” said Mary Wilson, Fresh Start for Children and Families, Executive Director. “Whatever their barrier might be, we come along side them and help them get over that barrier. We like to say it’s a hand up not a hand out.”
“As a judge I looked for spiciness within my gumbo,” said Marcus Chamber, Okaloosa County School District Superintendent.
After three hours of tasting, the judges deliberated and have a winner.
“Alright and the winner is…..Signature Catering of 30a”
“We were here to win! This is wonderful great celebration. You know, gumbo is such a flavor of love and the love came through tonight and shined,” said Christopher Holbrook, Signature Catering of 30a.
This years, gumbo cook off raised more than $6,000 dollars.