|Jay Ducote and Andrew Zimmern in Baton Rouge|
Andrew Zimmern, probably best known for hosting Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel, stopped by Baton Rouge on Wednesday to film an episode of his popular MSN web series "Appetite for Life." In case you are unaware, next week a new episode of Bizarre Foods America will air on the Travel Channel that features Louisiana and our unique cuisine. This time though, Andrew was hosting a jambalaya cook-off, and to make things more interesting the weekly Wednesday Food Truck Wroundup was held at lunch in conjunction with the filming. I actually had the extreme pleasure of being one of the judges for the food truck event that featured each truck's best Cajun inspired dish. Along side me in the judging booth were Rachael Upton from 225 Dine, Lauren Westbrook from WAFB, Beth Colvin from The Advocate, and Brian Haldane from Talk 107.3 FM.
|Judging Panel for the Appetite for Life Food Truck Wroundup|
Every truck there did an exceptional job with the challenge. The dishes blew me away with their creativity and flavor. This seriously might have been one of the most difficult food challenges that I've ever had to judge. It is a tough job, but somebody has to do it... or so they tell me (as I'm doing it!). Here were the entries and results. Start drooling now.
Taco de Paco's "Cajunator": Seafood gumbo taco with seared andouille, crawfish tails, rice, gumbo sauce, and fried okra! This won the "Laissez Les Bon Food Trucks Rouler" award for best use of traditional Louisiana/Cajun foods in the entry.
|The Cajunator from Taco de Paco|
|a coffee truck's King Cake Latte|
|Seafood Paella with Blackened Catfish from Cuban Connection|
Ignatius Reilly's took home the top prize with their Warm Savory Couche-Couche, with Smoked Trotter & Switches Gravy and a Fried Softshell Crawfish. The gravy was loaded with slow cooked pig tail and crawfish tails. The dish had an amazing balance with sweetness from the cous cous cake, spiciness from the gravy, and savoriness from, well, everything. And then to top it off with deep fried soft shell CRAWFISH?! Wow. For the win. The "Show Dat" award for overall best tasting - best in show. Congrats!
|Ignatius Reilly's winning dish|