We will be up against a gathering of culinary giants in the heart of Cajun Country.
– Cindy Rogers
Southern Harmony, a small culinary gem, in Ridge Manor- a rural community on the eastern outskirts of Hernando County, is heading to a big time competition: The 29th Gumbo Cook-Off World Championship. Southern Harmony is a family owned and operated establishment that masterfully and creatively fuses Cajun and Cracker cuisine.
The competition takes place Oct. 13 in New Iberia, Louisiana and will draw an estimated 30,000 people.
“Our team will be required to make a minimum of 120 quarts of gumbo to sample-out to the judges and crowds,” says owner Cindy Rogers.
She explained that they will be competing in the professional category since they are restaurant owners and will be up against “the big dogs” of Cajun cooking.
“So it’s not intimidating or anything,” she said jokingly.
Cindy and her husband Anthony have their menu and strategy planned out, complete with a very formidable entry: “Cajun Cracker Chumbo.”
A recipe the couple developed right here in ‘The Manor,’ Cindy Rogers explains that Cajun Cracker Chumbo “personifies our blended-or I should say… harmonized style of Cajun Cracker cooking.”
“We are excited about this one, as it is different, and creative enough to get noticed, but not so outside the traditional gumbo box that it will throw off the judges,” she continued.
Cajun Cracker Chumbo will be entered in the seafood category, while they will submit their staple Chicken and Sausage Gumbo in the non-seafood category.
“It is an old-school, traditional, dark-roux Gumbo passed down from my Mom, to me and now my children. We go in confident that we will be well-received as our staple recipe is a true and genuine representation of Cajun Style Gumbo,” she remarked.
The Rogers children, Brady, 15 and Patyn, 9, will be competing in the youth gumbo cook-off under the guidance of their 22 year old sister Haley. Cindy Rogers remarked, “Haley will be their team-leader and mentor as these three do their best to keep their focus and cool while cooking for this enormous crowd and the judges. This will be a time of learning and growing for them as they hone their skills, meet new people-locally and from all over the world, while having a blast representing their home state of Florida in the Gumbo Capital of Louisiana!”
“We are so excited to be representing ‘The Manor’ and the state of Florida-as a whole, in this nationally recognized event,” said Cindy Rogers.
Southern Harmony is located at:
34508 Cortez Blvd
Ridge Manor, Florida, FL 33523