GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - The final weekend in May marked the 50th anniversary for the Jambalaya Festival in Gonzales.
Organizer Carol Frederic has been a part of it since the very beginning in 1968.
"My favorite part about it is always having a wonderful Jambalaya champ that goes out around South Louisiana and promotes our community and our number one Jambalaya," Frederic said.
The festival has everything from a carnival to live music and even a classic car show, but the main attraction is the Jambalaya cook-off. This year, over 80 cooks entered the contest. Eric Guitreau and his brother Aaron were in their second contest. They say they spent hours perfecting their cooking style and recipe.
"The key to great Jambalaya? Practice. Practice, practice, practice man," Eric said. "It's definitely an art form, if people don't do it a lot. Especially cooking over wood, it raises the competition, and elevates the people out here. You know, you got the world's best jambalaya cooks out here."
Cooks also said they just enjoy the relaxing and social feel of the event.
"The beer, can't lie. I love the beer," Aaron said. "But the atmosphere, you ain't gonna find this anywhere else."
Former champ Scott Duplechein said the atmosphere is what draws him to the event every year as well.
"It's really just being out here with the other cooks and cutting up with em," Duplechein said. "Wishing them luck, them wishing us luck. It's all about the competition. You know, it's fun."