2016 Krewe de Gumbo Judges
Long-time judge Judy Walker, The Times Picayune’s retired food editor, still contributes to NOLA.com and the Picayune covering food, recipes, restaurants, and all aspects of New Orleans food news. She is also the co-author of “Cooking Up a Storm.”
Susan Ford serves as President and Publisher of Louisiana Kitchen and Culture Magazine, a national publication filled with recipes and suggestions from Louisiana’s home cooks, restaurateurs, and professional chefs. A Mississippi native and New Orleans resident, Susan is a returning judge.
Chef Linda Green, better known around town as The Ya-Ka-Mein Lady, is an award winning culinarian based in New Orleans. Winner of the Food Network’s Chopped and internationally known for her Ya-Ka-Mein, she runs Ms. Linda’s Soul Food Catering and is back again to judge “Got Gumbo?”.
Poppy Tooker, a native New Orleanian, produces and hosts the weekly Louisiana Eats! radio show and contributes on PBS’s weekly Steppin’ Out. A published journalist, author, and a culinary expert, Poppy is back to judge again, bring her gumbo expertise. Her famous seafood gumbo proved unbeatable on the Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay!
Jay Ducote spends most of his time as a food and beverage writer, blogger, radio host, speaker, video producer, culinary personality, chef and hugger. He finished runner-up on Season 11 of the hit reality competition show Food Network Star and has also been named one of the top 100 amateur chefs in America by FOX’s MasterChef, has appeared as himself on HBO’s drama series Treme, and has been featured on multiple programs such as Cutthroat Kitchen, The Kitchen and Burgers, Brew & Que on the Food Network, Eat St. on the Cooking Channel, and Last Call Food Brawl on Destination America. The Bite and Booze Radio Show, produced and hosted by Ducote, won a Taste Award for best food or drink radio broadcast in the country in 2014 and the Uniquely Louisiana Award from the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters in 2015. Jay launched his own Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce in 2014 and released his wine, Jay D's Blanc du Bois, a collaboration with West Monroe's Landry Vineyards, and his Louisiana Molasses Mustard in 2015.
Richard (Rick) Haase is the President of LATTER & BLUM, Inc., the largest full-service Real Estate brokerage in the Gulf South. Mr. Haase has been active in residential Real Estate sales, brokerage, and management for more than 33 years. Before being named as President, Mr. Haase served as President of the Latter & Blum Residential Operations, focusing primarily on the three residential companies within the Latter & Blum Family of Companies. Before joining LATTER & BLUM Inc., Mr. Haase held upper management positions with a number of market leading companies across the US. Mr. Haase is on the Board of Directors for the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation, a member of the Board of Governors for Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans, Inc., a member of the Business Council of New Orleans & the River Region, a member of Greater New Orleans, Inc, and the United Way 2015-16 Campaign Chair.
First-time judge Andy Wellbaum, Senior External Relations Advisor for Shell Deepwater in New Orleans, is a self-proclaimed foodie with a love for exploring cuisine culture in New Orleans and across Louisiana, with a special affinity for unique and delicious festival fare, along with the backyard seafood boils of the spring and the parking lot tailgate feasts of the fall.