The second annual Cook-off for the Coast is a culinary competition that helps with efforts to improve the wetlands while letting the public taste good food and listen to live local music.

The Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation will host the event from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 9 at Docville Farm, 5124 E. St. Bernard Highway, Violet.

Cooking teams will prepare dishes using wild game from Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. Proceeds will benefit the St. Bernard Parish 4-H’s and Nunez Community College’s work on coastal restoration.

“If it flies, walks, crawls or swims along our coast, cook teams will be serving it up,” said Blaise Pezold, the Meraux Foundation’s coastal and environmental program manager, who is helping organize the event.

In addition to entertainment by The Michot Melody Makers, an electric string band pushing the boundaries of Cajun traditional music, Pezold said the family-friendly event also will include children’s activities.

It is being presented in partnership by the Meraux Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, Vanishing Paradise and the St. Bernard Parish Coastal Department.

The cooking teams will provide sample dishes that highlight the bounty of coastal Louisiana in one or more of the following categories: water (fish, shellfish, reptiles); air (ducks); and land (game, deer, wild boar), as well as a best overall award. Judges will select winners in each category.

Pezold said proceeds will fund two planned local coastline projects.

“We are building oyster reefs with students from Chalmette High School and Nunez Community College with the welding department," he said.

"For the Mangrove Project, we collect mangrove seeds and grow them in a greenhouse,” he said. Last year, the proceeds funded the planting of six acres of mangrove trees.

This year, the projects include planting more mangrove trees and building 200 feet of oyster reef that will be put by Comfort Island in the Chandeleur Sound.

“We’re celebrating our food, culture and music, and at the same time we are benefiting our coastline while working with children to train our future leaders,” Pezold said.

Applications are still open for cooking teams, but space is limited. There is a $100 registration fee; anyone interested should contact Pezold at (504) 264-8125 or blaise@merauxfoundation.org.

Businesses or groups interested in sponsoring the event should contact blaise@merauxfoundation.org or click on the “Shop Now” at Facebook.com/CookoffForTheCoast.

For more information, visit the "Cook-off for the Coast" page on Facebook or @cook_off4coast on Instagram.

Nunez holds benefit gala

The Nunez Community College Foundation Board will hold Pelicans and Pearls, its annual gala, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Docville Farm. The public is invited.

“We chose the 26th since this is the 26th year that Nunez Community College has been a part of our community,” Nunez Development Director Katherine Lemoine said. “We want to celebrate all that is good here in our hometown.”

This event includes a tasting from area restaurants, a special Pelican punch, music, raffles, a silent auction and a bevy of “Pearl-itzer Prizes.” Tickets are $55; proceeds go to the foundation’s scholarship program.

For tickets and sponsorship information, contact Lemoine at (504) 278-6491 or klemoine@nunez.edu.

Telling Tales at the library

The St. Bernard Parish Library invites youngsters to attend its expanded story-sharing sessions. Telling Tales at the Library will be held at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, beginning this week and continuing through May 8.

The free program is designed to introduce children to literature through storybooks, poetry, flannel boards, finger plays and participatory activities. Programming is geared for ages 3 to 6, but all ages are welcome.

Story programs will be held at the St. Bernard Parish Library’s main branch, 2600 Palmisano Blvd., in Chalmette. Sessions last 30 to 45 minutes.

For information, visit the library’s website at www.stbernard.lib.la.us or call (504) 279-0448.

Sports Hall of Fame nominations

The St. Bernard Sports Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for induction and awards through Feb. 1. The application form is available at www.stbhof.com and may be submitted via mail or email.

The 2019 Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Banquet will be in May 2019 at the Hall of Fame Center in Chalmette. For information, contact board members  President Bryan Frichter at (504) 554-2685 or Vice President Roy Cortes at (985) 246-8354.

4-H members take Challenge 

St. Bernard Parish seventh-grade 4-H Club members from N.P. Trist Middle School and St. Bernard Middle School participated in a two-day 4-H Challenge Camp at the Lion King Retreat Camp in Amite.

Students worked in teams to solve challenges meant to build leadership and encourage team work, critical thinking and communication skills.

They participated in activities about eating healthy foods and exercising, and explored nature trails, roasted marshmallows and met 4-H members from 14 other parishes in Southeast Louisiana.

Students from St. Bernard who attended the camp included: Xander Davis, Gabrielle Thore, Jamie Estave, Mason Wells, Chasity Wuertz, Leon Swindler V, Katie Hambrice, Jesse Cochrane, Sydney Derouen, and Sophia Menant.

Karen Turni Bazile writes about people and events in St. Bernard Parish. She can be reached at parishlines@gmail.com.