EAST COUNTY — As Martha Mondragon hovers over large silver pot, adding chicken, shrimp, okra and other ingredients to the Linger Lodge Restaurant’s famed gumbo, the kitchen manager isn’t shy about bragging.
“Our recipe is really good,” she says. “We’ve never had a complaint about it.”
In just a few weeks, however, Mondragon will see how her gumbo compares with those of other local chefs,when the Linger Lodge hosts the Braden River Music Festival and Gumbo Cook-off May 4, at the restaurant and campground, 7205 85th St. Court E., Bradenton.
The festival, which will feature live bluegrass, Americana and Southern rock concerts, will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., but a gumbo cook-off will last from noon to 3 p.m., with festival attendees voting on the best-tasting gumbo. Both restaurant chefs and home cooks can participate, restaurant Manger Rita Lewis said.
Linger Lodge General Manager David LaRusso said aspiring chefs can register for the contest through April 27.
Competitors must bring five gallons of their homemade gumbo, which they prepare off-site and bring the day of the competition. Competitors must bring their own heating apparatus for their dishes, but the restaurant will provide a table and electricity, as well as sampling utensils.
IF YOU GO
Braden River Music Festival and Gumbo Cook-off
When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 4
Where: Linger Lodge Restaurant and Campground, 7205 85th St. Court E., Bradenton.
Details: The festival includes live bluegrass, Americana and Southern rock concerts by bands such as The Schmitz Brothers, HWY 41 South, Generations Bluegrass Band and Roy Schneider. Attendees will vote on the best-tasting gumbo from noon to 3 p.m. Tasting is included in ticket price.
To compete, aspiring chefs must register by April 27.
Cooks will bring at least five gallons of their pre-cooked gumbo to the site, starting at 10 a.m. Gumbo tasting runs from noon to 3 p.m.
“People’s Choice” and “Chef’s Choice” awards will be given.
Call Linger Lodge at 755-7257 for registration information.