Rules and Regulations

Please read the following guidelines carefully and complete the enclosed application. Participation is limited.


  • Gumbo Masters: $100 entry fee



All Gumbo Masters will be judged by a panel of judges. There will be a preliminary judging followed by the final judging conducted by culinary professionals.

  • 1st Place Gumbo winner: $1000
  • 2nd Place Gumbo winner: $500
  • 3rd Place Gumbo winner: $250


All Gumbo Masters are encouraged to bring their family, friends and foes to the competition to purchase tickets toward their People's Choice award. Tickets will be available for $2 each. Each ticket is redeemable for a cup of gumbo. The ticket is to be placed in the participating competitor's fish bowl. People's Choice winners will be determined by people casting their votes with tickets they have purchased. The Gumbo Master Team with the most tickets at the end of the competition will win the prize!

  • "People's Choice" Gumbo winner: Artistic Trophy


Each Gumbo Master Team is encouraged to decorate his or her booth in whatever theme chosen. Booth decorating can begin as early as 1:00 pm on Friday for the competition the next day. "Best Booth design" judging will begin at 9:45 am Saturday morning by an independent panel of judges.

  • "Best Booth" winner: Artistic Trophy


Each contestant's competition area will have a pre-set 10-foot x 10-foot tent with 2 tables, 2 chairs and 1 fish bowl for People's Choice tickets. The table will also have an adequate supply of small 4 oz. gumbo bowls, spoons and napkins for People's Choice tastings. Each contestant will need to provide their own propane or contact Dale Burgess with Alabama Propane Exchange at (251)233-3134. Participants must provide their own heating source and all utensils such as cooking and serving ladles, spoons, whisks etc. THE ONLY UTENSILS PROVIDED WILL BE CUSTOMER EATING UTENSILS.


Each competition table will be provided with identical ingredients for contestants to prepare a 5-gallon pot of gumbo. ONE SECRET INGREDIENT is allowed per competitor, competitors are responsible for providing this ingredient. Additionally, a common table will be setup with a variety of ingredients that each contestant may choose (or not choose) to use. Every contestant is required to cook a 5-gallon pot (no more, no less) of gumbo that will be tasted by an independent panel of judges as well as sold to the public.

Each contestant will be provided the following items generously donated by Alabama Gulf Seafood:

  • 5 pounds (70–90 count) shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 4 pounds catfish fillets
  • 2 pounds claw crabmeat
  • 1 pound white crabmeat
  • 1 pound diced alligator meat
  • 1 pound crawfish tails
  • 1 quart oysters

All contestants will also have access to the below ingredients:

  • 1˝ pounds diced onions
  • ˝ pound diced celery
  • 1 pound diced green bell peppers
  • ˝ pound minced garlic
  • 1 pound sausage, sliced
  • 1 pound sliced okra
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 pound vegetable oil
  • 1 pound flour
  • 7 quarts – of shellfish stock
  • salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • Baumhower Hot Sauce
  • 4 oz. heat resistance Gumbo cups
  • Spoons
  • Napkins
  • Community table w/pantry type products

In addition to ingredients listed above, there will be a community table containing additional ingredients. There will be an assortment of seasonings, spices, herbs, proteins and vegetables provided that can be used by competitors to specialize their gumbo.


Competitors will be allowed to set up their booth as early as 12:00 p.m. on Friday or as early as 7 a.m. on Saturday.

  • Saturday, October 4th
  • 7:00 a.m. - Competition arrival and check-in
  • 8:00 a.m. - Cooking begins (All Teams)
  • 9:45 a.m. - Best Booth judging begins (All Teams)
  • 10:00 a.m. -Judging begins (All Teams)
  • All teams and each contestant will receive an Official Tasting Time Slot upon arrival
  • 10:00 a.m. - Public gumbo sales begin for the People's Choice award, voting will end at 1:30 p.m.
  • 1:50 p.m. - Gumbo Master Winners announced
  • 2:00 p.m. - People’s Choice Winners announced
  • 2:10 p.m. – Iron Bowl Tailgate Challenge Qualifiers announced
  • 2:15 p.m. - Best Decorated Booth Winners announced


There is a no outside advertising policy. Restaurant or organization promotion is permissible, but contestants CANNOT promote, sell or display competitor related products, services, etc. anywhere on festival grounds.


Contestants MUST read and be familiar with recommendations from the Health Department listed below:

If possible use fully cooked foods instead of raw meats as the health risk is reduced. If raw meat ingredients are used, thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees for 15 sec. All raw meat should be brought from an approved source, (inspected beef, pork) wild game meats while popular, presents a risk factor for bacteria or parasites and should be avoided.

Ready to eat foods (RTE) should be handled with tongs, food utensils, or single use gloves. There should be no direct hand contact with RTE foods.

Practice safe food handling: there should be no smoking, drinking, or eating during the prepping, handling, or serving of the food being offered. Wear clean aprons and have hand sanitizer gel available. Store clean wiping cloths in sanitizing solution (1 teaspoon of regular bleach mixed in a gallon of water). Provide overhead protection to food service areas if possible.

Keep the event from the start of food preparation to the clean up within a 24 hour period to help avoid growth of certain dangerous bacteria. Any leftover food should be discarded. Cooking and cooling of foods for reheating the next day is highly discouraged.

Team members who have suffered from bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, and/or fever in the past 48 hours should not participate in handling food. Viral infections are highly contagious, and can be easily passed to other by food handling.


Contestants assume all risks of property damage, property loss, damaged goods and all risks of physical injury. Minimal security will be present after activities cease each day. The Wind Creek LA Gumbo Festival, The Wharf, the City of Orange Beach or their employees will NOT be responsible for stolen or damaged property.


Contestants will be solely responsible for all damages caused by contestant or contestant's employees to all buildings, grounds, persons or person's property and shall indemnify and hold The Wind Creek LA Gumbo Festival, the Wharf and the City of Orange Beach harmless from such damages, claims, injury or defence cost.


No pets are allowed on Festival grounds for the duration of the event except those required to assist handicapped individuals.


The Wind Creek LA Gumbo Festival reserves the right to refuse or remove any organization, vendor or product from the Festival for any reason. This document is a legal binding agreement between the contestant and the L.A. Gumbo Festival. If participation is accepted by the Wind Creek LA Gumbo Festival, this document outlines all responsibilities of the Festival and the contestant. All guidelines must be followed. Non-compliance will result in breach of contract by vendor thus forfeit all fees paid.


The application must be filled out on Fees can be paid via credit card per the instructions on the applications page.