Staff Picks

Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-off!

Pinterest Icon
gumbo stew

This time of year, deep in the February snow drifts, we crave food that warms us, and gumbo–the epitome of Cajun cuisine–is a slam dunk. Warm and filling, it’s the perfect soup of balanced spice and tender meat, seafood, and veg to send us ladling out seconds. And lucky for us, right in Soda Springs Park, we have 20 chefs cooking up their best.

Twenty-eight years and going strong, the Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-off is back in Manitou Springs, and you’re invited! On Saturday, February 26th, aspiring and professional cooks alike will chop, season, stew, and serve at least 5 gallons of their best gumbo for event judges and hungry ticket-holders. It’s a tradition that’s warmed hearts and bodies for more than two decades for those who know and love gumbo and for those who may taste it for the first time. Never tried gumbo before? It’s a cajun soup with a combination of meat and seafood, okra and tomatoes that’s thickened and flavored by a roux or gumbo file (dried sassafras leaves) and other spices. Folks in Manitou Springs take their gumbo seriously and serve their spiced pots of soup in the first hours of Carnivale Weekend. It’s free to attend and follow your nose around the tables and inspired chefs, but if you want to try their creations, tickets are 75 cents a taste or 3 for $2. First prize wins $100, but there’s a prize for best showmanship, too. Taste what all the mumbo jumbo is all about; you won’t leave hungry!