Road Trip; Gumbo Cook-Off

Mario Pacetti Thursday, November 2, 2017 Comments Off on Road Trip; Gumbo Cook-Off
Road Trip; Gumbo Cook-Off

As a person who travels on a daily basis for work, I always hope I can find some good places to eat. But it really is always a crap shoot as to what I’m going to find.

Recently, I was working in Hammond, La. Chelsea and I seem to be there a lot lately. On this day, we were in the mood for some Sushi.

Well, as it happened, on a previous trip down, I’d passed by a place called  Nagoya and decided we were going to give them a shot.

It’s very hard for me to put into words my sushi experiences, as I don’t have a lot of knowledge about the cuisine. I told Chelsea the other day that I never ate sushi the entire time I lived in the Bay Area because I still had a very underdeveloped pallet. I kick myself in the ass all the time for that now.

I love spicy tuna as much as I love any other food, and I will get it a dozen different ways at the same spot. Nagoya was no exception. The plus to that is every place I go to has a different method of preparing its spicy tuna; so it’s a new dish every time.

We started off at Nagoya with an appetizer that had spicy tuna and fresh salmon together topped with four different types of fish roe and a bad-ass wasabi sauce. First off, this dish was very attractive. But the fact that we got four different flavors out of the roe was a true bonus. This was a clean, fresh-tasting dish, and the only bad thing about it was when the plate was empty.

We got four different rolls: a spicy tuna; spicy salmon; Mississippi Roll (spicy tuna inside snow crab and a variety of fresh fish with avocado on the top and with tempura flake roe); and the American Dream (grilled tuna with crunch inside, salmon, eel and avocado on top, and garnished with three special sauces).

These rolls were amazing. But the appetizer and the Mississippi were hands down the highlights of the meal. If you’re in Hammond, you should give Nagoya a shot.

Chelsea and I were recently judges for B.A.A.K.’s second annual B.A.A.K.-Tober Fest, which was a motorcycle scavenger hunt and a gumbo cook-off. This was my third time to judge a food cook-off for the group. Each time, we’ve had some great food for a great cause. The sad thing is that there are enough abused children to warrant the existence of this organization. But there are, and B.A.A.K. is there trying to make a difference.

This material comes from B.A.A.K.’s website:

“Our B.A.A.K. Poker Run was the result of a rash of child abuse cases throughout Southwest Louisiana in 2008 and 2009. For some unknown reason, more and more news headlines featured the results of battered and abused kids.

“A casual conversation about a 1-year-old child who lost his life due to parental abuse developed into what we hope to be a growing fundraiser for the unfortunate abused children of Southwest Louisiana.

“All proceeds from this event go entirely for the battered and abused kids of our area, and all monies raised stay in Southwest Louisiana in an effort to offset the budget cuts that have been imposed. All proceeds are directed to the kids themselves, and not to any administrative expenses.”

Three teams participated this year: Performance with Cassie Roberts and Tommy Caswell; UPS and Harbour House with Charles and Angela Lee; and Cooyons with Stanley Patrick. All the gumbos were different in some way, but all stuck to very traditional styles.

For us the winner was Cooyons and Stanley Patrick. His gumbo was the way I like it. He used dark meat with the bone in and he left the skin on the legs, which is a true favorite of mine. Now, he did have a little oil on top that could have been skimmed off or been absorbed by some white bread. But the flavor was so good, and everything meshed together so well, that you forgot about that oil in the second bite.

The turn-out could have been better. It’s amazing to me that these aren’t packed events, considering that most bikers have kids or know someone who has been affected by child abuse. If we’re going to get behind events, we should really look out for our kids, as they are our future and they need our help. We should be more than happy to give it.

Next time B.A.A.K. holds its annual event, I’ll be promoting it as best I can. I hope we can get the turn-outs these event should have. I want to thank everyone involved for all their hard work to make these events possible.

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