Occasionally I am called upon to judge various local competitions. That’s what had me out at ExxonMobil on the morning of Oct. 26 — jambalaya. Lots of jambalaya.
Helping me to judge the best of 51 pots of jambalaya cooked by teams of employees and contractors were Chelsea Gidden, Bistro Byronz; Shawn Knight, Walk-Ons; Chucky LeJeune, Louisiana Bayou Bistro; Ernie Matherne, Matherne’s Supermarket; chef John Meyer; Paul Miadenka, Cou-Yon's; Bill Profita, Talk 107.3; Derek Roth, Soji; Ronald Smith, ExxonMobil YMCA; and Graham Ulkins, WAFB.
After a lot of tasting, we finally reached a consensus on the winners — Team No. 4, with members Juan Aime, Patrice Augustine, Becky Breaux and Lindsay Malik. The Table 10 team of Sara Decuir, Tamara Roybinski, Chandra Stacie and Ieisha Thomas repeated as the People’s Choice winner. They also provided some entertainment when the live DJ played the line dance favorite "Wobble Wobble."
The next morning I was flipping pancakes at the Kiwanis Club’s 69th annual Pancake Festival at LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Showing me the ropes was veteran flipper Carlos Padial Jr. Also helping out were Eunice McCarney, this year’s Red Hat, aka chairwoman, and Paul Davis.
As we cooked pancakes, a group of youngsters entertained guests in a talent competition. One of the five finalists was the third generation in her family to compete, following in the footsteps of her mom and grandmother.