Jumbo turnout at gumbo cook offDickinson residents were given a taste of southern Creole and Cajun fixings Saturday at Quality Inn and Suites.
By: John Odermann, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson residents were given a taste of southern Creole and Cajun fixings Saturday at Quality Inn and Suites.
The 12th annual American Petroleum Institute’s Gumbo Cook Off is a way for the API to raise money for its scholarship programs and other charities, but it is also pretty fun, said Les Borsheim, the chair of the cook off committee.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun,” Borsheim said.
The API, which also hosts an annual summer golf tournament at the Heart River Golf Course in Dickinson, awards scholarship dollars raised at the two events to students at Dickinson State University and other colleges. The API raises around $10,000 a year at the cook-off, Borsheim said.
The money is raised through entry fees, the sale of raffle tickets and admission at the door.
Sixteen teams competed in this year’s cook-off and were judged on taste, texture and appearance. People’s choice and best costume awards were also presented.
A maximum of 18 teams are allowed to compete each year, Borsheim said but depending on cancellations or a rig crew being called out, that number can go down. However, if the cancellation is early enough, Borsheim said he has a long waiting list of teams willing to compete.
Executive Director of the Dickinson Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Terry Thiel said the event, while smaller than the golf tournament is nice because it provides some entertainment for the community and raises money for the scholarships and other charities.
Each year, about 400-500 people attend the cook-off and even though those numbers are pretty consistent year-in and year-out there is still that worry about whether or not people will actually show up.
“You don’t see, because we’re back here, but then you walk out there and you go, ‘Oh my god, there’s all these people here,’” Thiel said.
Thiel said despite the time that needs to be put in to plan the event is always fun.
“It’s like elbow-to-elbow fun,” Thiel said. “And every year it’s like that.”