CROWLEY, LA – Despite major flooding that inundated much of rice country in August and threatened cancellation of this year’s Rice and Creole Cookery, the contest proceeded as scheduled last Friday and was a huge success. One hundred and forty-nine dishes were entered in the cook-off held at the 80th Annual International Rice Festival. Joshia Dietz of Lafayette claimed the title of Chef de Riz (Cooker of Rice).
Overall winners from the rice-dish categories included: Ian McElwee, children’s division; Kullen Mouton of Branch, intermediate division and Junior Chef winner; Anna Esquivel, teen division; and Blake Vidrine of Crowley, adult division.
“The summer rains caused extensive damage to the facility where we hold the contest and destroyed many of our files we use to organize the event,” said Letha Vincent, contest organizer. “However, with the support of the festival board of directors and the Jeff Davis Parish Volunteers for Family and Community Club, we were able to pull it together again this year and even double the amount of entries.”