Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Baumhower creates world’s largest bowl of gumbo

Baumhower creates worlds largest bowl of gumbo

What do you eat with the game of the century? The gumbo of the century.

At least, that’s what chefs from across the Southeast thought when they made the world’s largest pot of seafood gumbo in the Ferg Plaza on Saturday. The gumbo, setting the Guinness record at 4,000 pounds and feeding 10,000 people, was something substantial.

Starting at 6:30 Saturday morning, former Alabama lineman Bob Baumhower, famous Louisiana chef and restaurant owner John Folse and their team of Cajun chefs slaved over the 500-gallon pot, stirring it with canoe paddles and checking its temperature with a thermometer the size of an umbrella.

The proceeds went to Nick’s Kids and Caring Days, the respective charities of Nick Saban and LSU coach Les Miles. Baumhower and Folse wanted the “LouisiBama Gumbo Pot” to bring Alabama and LSU fans together.

“It should be something all the fans everywhere should enjoy, but we hope Alabama fans enjoy it a little bit more after the game,” Baumhower said, in a dream tragically crushed.

Jackie Maynor came to see gumbo history in the making, but decided to pass on sampling it.

“I don’t know…look at that big thing of stuff coming out of there. Ugh!” she said, as the team shoveled more than a ton of raw seafood into the pot from a plastic tub on a forklift.

Fishermen from both Louisiana and Alabama donated all of the gumbo’s seafood. Chef Folse hoped the event would help clear Gulf seafood’s name after the BP spill.

“We now know the seafood is perfectly safe in the Gulf,” Folse said. “Why not showcase the finest seafood on the globe?”

Louisiana and Alabama may share the largest gumbo, but they also share gumbo’s history. The first pot was cooked in Mobile, Ala., which at the time was the capital of Louisiana.

“It’s the perfect marriage coming together in Alabama,” Folse explained.  “First of all, you have to have the pot.”

Folse’s pot is a legitimate iron bowl – a one-ton basin that was sand-cast in the bank of the Mississippi River 220 years ago. Originally made for boiling sugar, Folse has also used it to break the world records for biggest macaroni-and-cheese and biggest Swiss fondue.

Gene Fox, a contestant from Dauphin Island, said good gumbo is all about the ingredients.  “You need good Andouille sausage, a dark room and proper seafood stock,” he explained, “And the most important ingredient of good gumbo, don’t burn it.”

The event featured a gumbo cookoff in which eight teams – four from Louisiana and four from Alabama – vied for the LouisiBama Gumbo title.

Folse and Baumhower plan to bring the giant pot to Baton Rouge and break the record again when Alabama and LSU square off next year. Folse says his pot’s big enough for 10 more years of Gumbo history and if they keep it up, the SEC just might give the LSU-Bama game a new label: The Gumbo Bowl.



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