City’s top restaurants, hotels to compete in United Way, Royal Sonesta’s 18th annual Got Gumbo? Cook-Off

Proceeds benefit a gumbo of services

United Way of Southeast Louisiana presents its 18th annual Got Gumbo? Cook-Off on Thursday, March 8, at Royal Sonesta New Orleans. We’ve invited the New Orleans’ most talented chefs to put up their dukes, or rather, their dishes in our annual parade of gumbo.

Competitors will vie for best traditional gumbo, best exotic gumbo, and best seafood gumbo. All ticketholders can vote for the people’s choice awards of best gumbo, best dessert, and best table “float” decorations. 

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, Jan. 30, for $30 in advance at through Wednesday, March 7, and $35 at the door.

Participating restaurants include: 1718 Events at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Catering d'Orleans, Charlie's Restaurant & Catering, Corporation Bar & Grill, Desire Oyster Bar, Food448, Inc., Gumbo Ya-Ya, M Bistro at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, Morton's The Steakhouse, New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans School of Cooking, Restaurant R'evolution, Royal Sonesta New Orleans, Silk Road and Sodexo at Tulane University.

While the competition is all in good fun, the cause is serious. To put it simply, United Way supports the programs that support 43 percent of the population living in or near poverty in our seven-parish service area; Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes.   

Join our Emcee, Chef Kevin Belton, and our distinguished Krewe de Gumbo Judges who, along with you, will be selecting the best of the best in the world of New Orleans Gumbo.

2018 Judges:

  • Morgan Ford, New Orleans Community Director, Yelp
  • Errol Laborde, Editor-in-Chief, Renaissance Publishing
  • Peggy Scott Laborde, Senior Producer, WYES-TV
  • Gary Lorio, 2017-2018 UWSELA Campaign Chair and Regional President, Hancock Whitney Bank                                         
  • Jennifer Kelley, Executive Director, Louisiana Hospitality Foundation                                                       
  • Jeffrey Pohlmann, Owner, "Today's Ketch"
  • Kristen Preau, Owner, Jambalaya Girl
  • Michael Williamson, President & CEO, United Way of Southeast Louisiana

2018 Event Sponsors:

  • Royal Sonesta New Orleans
  • Atmos Energy
  • YELP
  • Morris Bart
  • Charlie's Restaurant & Catering
  • M Bistro at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans
  • Morton's The Steakhouse
  • New Orleans School of Cooking


About United Way of Southeast Louisiana
For more than 90 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives and making a lasting difference. We fight to eradicate poverty by preparing people for quality jobs, growing incomes, and affording better health and education opportunities throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable – and we have a plan. United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Blueprint for Prosperity guides all strategic investments in programs, initiatives, collaborations, volunteerism, and advocacy aimed at tackling poverty. For more information, please visit Find us on social: @UnitedWaySELA.