When it comes to food holidays in February, nothing beats Mardi Gras. Can you even think of a dish that is made to celebrate Presidents’ Day? We didn’t think so. Beyond the bead throwing and general mayhem, Mardi Gras evokes thoughts of New Orleans home cooking, and nothing says Creole cuisine like a rich pot of gumbo.
Which is why all New Yorkers who long for a taste of the good stuff should make their way to Jimmy’s No. 43 on Sunday, February 19 for the Gumbo Cook-Off. Pay $20 to get unlimited tastings or throw in your lot with the professionals and enter the competition as a cook. Gumbo is a highly personal dish, so you can expect a wide variety of versions chocked full of “secret family ingredients.”
The proceeds of the cook-off (which will take place from 1-3 pm) will benefit Chefs for the Marcellus — an organization of food professionals who are fighting against hydrofracking for natural gas in New York in an effort to protect the region’s food and water. (More on fracking here.) Owner of Jimmy’s No. 43, Jimmy Carbone, is one of the founding members of the organization.
To show their support and to demonstrate their gumbo-making talents, chefs from NYC restaurants Back Forty, Stonyfield Café, NYC Hot Sauce, The Green Table and Jimmy’s No. 43 are competing in the cook-off that will be judged by Curt Ellis of FoodCorps and King Corn, Will Blunt of starchefs.com, and chef Emma Feigenbaum, co-host of Everyday Food. Ingredients will be sourced from the potentially threatened Marcellus shale region, which is home to dairy and livestock farms, as well as New York’s most celebrated tap water.
Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 E. 7th St., NYC, 212.982.3006, jimmysno43.com