During the first weekend of March, my brother and his family drove over to Pineville!!! We still had not been able to give each other our Christmas presents yet, so we planned out "Brinker Christmas in March!!" Ha!! Heather had the incredible idea to start a family cook-off... an annual family showdown where she, Jen, and Wade would compete in cooking the same dish! This year, the theme was gumbo and Kurt, Mandy, Grammie, Pops, and Nathan would be the judges!! Immediately, everyone thought this was the funnest.idea.ever. and we all got started right away..
It was on. The official Annual Family Cook-off had begun!
As Jen, Wade, and Heather got ready for the competition, I snapped a few pictures of the family!! Here is Samuel, 10 weeks old and looking a little worried about all this competition business!
Kurt will forever be a kid at heart! Hahaa, love this picture so much!
Here is Kurt and Mandy meeting Baby Samuel... and Wade photobombing in the back! Haa!
Snuggle time with Uncle Kurt!
Ready to beat Jen and Heather's tails in the gumbo cook-off!
Jude was a little concerned about his momma maybe losing... ;)
Cutie little Heather just making out the professional judging rubric...
Their showdown faces:
It's getting fierce up in here, y'all!
Cutest. competitors. ever.
It was Jenny in the kitchen with the knife!!!
Heather made the grand-prize trophy.. the golden ladle that will be passed on from year to year to each cook-off champion! Who will it belong to on this first year of competition?!
May the best chef win!
Here is Heather, passing out and explaining the scoring sheets to the judges!
The judges were briefed on the rules:
There would be 3 rounds of gumbo tasting. No one would know who cooked each gumbo. There would be 5 categories to be judged in each round:
the gumbo's aroma, consistency, color, taste and aftertaste!! We are hardcore, y'all! ;)
Refreshing his palate with a cool glass of water...
Sweet smiles as the chefs got their dishes ready::
And so we begin with Round 1!! (Wadie's gumbo!!)
Tasting and judging:
"I need another bite of that delicious gumbo!!!" ;))
Next up, Round 2!! (Heather's gumbo!!)
These two little boys were so cute during the competition.. one would make a joke and the other would fall out laughing..
"This gumbo tastes like poo-poo! Bahaha."
"Poopy gumbo!! Bahaha."
And on and on it went! Hahahah!
Lukey's smile here is just the best!!
And finally, Round 3!! (Jen's gumbo!!) Since she didn't have a garnish, she added candles to give it a little extra shine..
Last few moments to judge::
Cutest little Gavin Dean!
I then collected all the scoring sheets and tallied them at the table. While I worked, all the judges went around the room, explaining their scoring and preferences:
The three chefs listened to each of their gumbos being critiqued - ahhh!! Thankfully, they were ALL delicious gumbos and it came down to each judge's personal taste of what they believe gumbo should taste like...
What's cookin, Good Lookin?!
Rylie, ready to hand over the Golden Ladle!
Sweet Mandy had given them ALL perfect scores!!
Meanwhile, these little boys were over the competition and were ready to wrestle!!
Kurt took his role as judge very seriously... He even made notes out on the sides of the paper so he could have perfect recall of each round of gumbo! Haa!!
We announced who made each round of gumbo... And then I was ready to declare the 2015 Annual Family Cook-off's Champion!!
Drum roll, please!!
And the winner IS.........
Everyone's gumbo was perfect! Wadie's came out as the crowd's favorite this year.. but it was a close win!!!!
And in case you needed to see their gumbos...
Here is Wadie's:
And Jenny's! All so different and all so good!!
Jenny and Kurtie ended the night with a little photo shoot together:
This was seriously one of our funnest family days ever!! We missed Jase, but everyone else was able to be there (which you know is so rare!), so it was just over-the-top wonderful! The friendly family competition was incredibly fun and we are already thinking up the dish that will be put to the test next year!! Thanks be to God who gives the sweet gift of family, of special memories in the kitchen, and of bragging rights for this Poole family for the next year. ;))
To Be Continued...