Cajun Cookoff -February 12, 2022
Did someone say Crewe in the Lou? Yes, even in St. Louis, they love their fair share of Mardi Gras celebrations. Out of all the celebrations that are part of the Mardi Gras-themed events in February 2022, the one event you want to pay close attention to is the Cajun Cookoff. This is held on February 12th at Soulard Market Park within the Bud Light Party Centre. This is one cookoff that gives some talented folks the chance to show off their Cajun classic dishes.
What’s The Story Behind The Cajun Cookoff?
It’s hard to believe that back in the early 1980s, Soulard is one of the oldest parts of St. Louis that’s been celebrating Mardi Gras as far back as 1790. It was in February 1980 that a local neighborhood in Soulard started what could be considered the first official accounts of the Soulard Mardi Gras Party. In fact, it all began when Bob Brinkman and others living in a rowhouse of apartments got together to decide to organize a block party.
It was a stalemate when most of the residents couldn’t decide on a theme, so out of frustration, Bob shouted out a call for a Mardi Gras Party and the crowd went wild! Ever since then, the yearly celebration grew and grew until it’s now part of the Soulard scene every year. The Cajun Cookoff grew out of this month-long celebration of the festival itself and has garnered a lot of beloved attention from St. Louis Mardi Gras fans.
The Cajun Cookoff is typically at the very start of this month-long festival and plays a big part in Cajun food. Those who are locals to Soulard will be surprised to learn that Soulard actually means Drunk’ in the Cajun language. The celestial celebrations that encompass Mardi Gras appear to be linked with great drink and bead-laden parades. This Cajun Cookoff is open to amateurs and professionals who want to serve up spicy Cajun BBQ and delicious dishes.
How many are competing in the Cajun Cookoff?
Just a total of 10 cooking teams are selected for this limited engagement event. It’s not so much who applies in time but getting your application to the society by January 17th, 2022. A random drawing will determine who will become the 10 selected competitors for this cookoff event. Each contestant will supply their own tools and utensils to cook their special dish for a celebrity panel of 3 distinct judges.
What makes this cookoff so different is that a detailed copy of the recipe needs to be supplied for the judges, to help them with their judging duties. You don’t find this request to be very common for many other competitions, which might expose secret ingredients for these talented Cajun cooks.
Who wants to attend?
The good news is that it’s a great place to spend the day watching this cookoff take place. The regular admission is just $55 for the event and includes a free lunch, live music, and unlimited beverages. You can watch the event that starts at noon and ends at 4pm. If you1re looking to get a closer look at this event, you can also decide to purchase the all-inclusive Kitchen Pass.
This special pass is just $95, and gives you access two hours earlier, and kicks off with complimentary Bloody Marys, Mimosas, and of course- a free breakfast. The best part is that you get to be served lunch earlier than the standard admission price. Right from the smoker or boiling pot, you’ll be eager to enjoy authentic Cajun food served with a smile. After that, you can enjoy all-access to the sidelines to get closer to the cookoff action than anyone else.
What makes the Cajun Cookoff different?
All through February, the events that take place only cover a mere 6 days, but what a diverse celebration it has become. The Cajun Cookoff is not the only food tasting event but is the better-known favorite that certainly draws big crowds. There is also a self-guided pub and restaurant tour that’s called the Taste of Soulard which includes a $35 general pass for every vendor along the route.
The Cajun Cookoff is bringing creativity and Cajun comfort food into St. Louis which for itself is very uncommon. The fact that this event has become one of the biggest highlights for St. Louis over the years and brings people together to celebrate Mardi Gras outside of New Orleans like nothing else.