Tennessee Equality Project Gumbo & Bread Pudding Competition: Invitation, Rules and Entry Form
Event Details:

Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, 4:30 PM - 7 PM
Spectrum Memphis
616 Marshall Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103

Dear Contestants:

Tennessee Equality Project is proud to host its 4th Annual Mardi Gras Party this year, which includes our second Gumbo Tasting Competition and a new Bread Pudding Contest. The ingredients of Gumbo are as diverse as the LGBT and allied community, and we celebrate this in Mardi Gras style! Funds raised from the competition will benefit TEP to advance and protect the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families in Tennessee.

The Mardi Gras Party competition has multiple categories:

1. Amateur Gumbo - teams of non-professionals who love to cook. Entry fee of $25.
2. Professional Gumbo - teams that include at least one person who is or has been paid to cook (you know who you are!). Entry fee of $50.
3. Bread Pudding - teams that include bakers of any background for single division contest. Entry fee is $15.

Space for competing teams is limited. Gumbo and Bread Pudding Teams must submit completed entry forms online and submit their registration fee by Feb. 1, 2012 to guarantee a chance to compete.

TEP is offering sponsorships for this year's event for only $100. This includes advertising of your organization or business in event publicity, two (2) sets of People’s Choice tickets, and free entry into Gumbo or Bread Pudding competition. Register as a sponsor by January 20, 2012 to ensure advertising for printed event posters.

Judging Criteria: The Gumbo Tasting Competition shall be judged on aroma, consistency, taste, and aftertaste by a panel of public figures from the Memphis area. First, Second and Third Place winners will be declared by the Judges Panel and by Gumbo tasters who attend for People’s Choice awards.

Team registration shall be confirmed by event organizers after application and entry fee is received.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

The Shelby County Committee
Tennessee Equality Project

Registration and sponsorship fees may be paid online at http://tnep.org/donate/ (Use the “One-time donation:”field) or by check to “Tennessee Equality Project” (mailed to 1889 Nelson Ave, Memphis, TN 38114). For a print friendly version of this page, visit http://bit.ly/TEPMardiGrasPrintedApp2012.
Enter team or organization name on check memo line. Sponsors must register by January 20, 2012 to ensure advertising for printed event posters. Email “print ready” logo to Jonathan@tnequalityproject.com.
Spaces for team registration are limited and are confirmed as the entry form and fee is received.

Gumbo Competition Rules
1. All contestants must pre-register for the Gumbo contest prior to February 1, 2012 to guarantee space in the competition. The registration fee for Amateur teams (non-professionals who love to cook) is $25. The registration fee for Professional teams (includes at least one person who is or has been paid to cook) is $50. All registration fees benefit Tennessee Equality Project.

2. We welcome all sorts of Gumbo. True Gumbo is defined as any kind of seafood or shellfish, cooked with various spices and vegetables, cooked in a roux and served similar to a soup or stew. However, we only require that you prepare a roux to call your entry a Gumbo. Non-seafood and vegetarian Gumbo shall be accepted.

3. All Gumbo must be prepared in advance for the competition. There will be no kitchen facility available to cook or prepare Gumbo on site. Gumbo teams must provide their own extension cords and power strips, a crock pot or other heating device to keep your Gumbo warm (Sterno or “canned heat” is also acceptable). Teams must take precautions in preparing Gumbo. If you prepare, cool and reheat your Gumbo before the competition, please make sure that you refrigerate your Gumbo by dividing it for rapid cooling. Failure to do so increases the risk for food poisoning.

4. TEP will provide standardized serving utensils, bowls and white rice during the tasting.

5. Gumbo teams may be of any size. At least one team member (but no more than 3) must be available to serve their team’s Gumbo at their station during the tasting competition. Teams are responsible for arriving 1 hour early for the event (3:30 PM) to set up their stations.

6. Each team must cook at least of two (2) gallons of Gumbo – after the Judge’s Panel tasting is completed, each team must have additional Gumbo for People’s Choice judging.

7. On the day of the competition, each team shall be assigned a serving station at a table no less than two (2) feet and no more than three (3) feet wide (teams must plan to fit into their assigned space. Teams shall be assigned a number and given official bowls for serving Gumbo. Teams must post the major ingredients used to make your Gumbo at your station. A container with your team number will be provided at your station for People’s Choice voting. Station decoration and Mardi Gras attire are encouraged.

8. Event staff shall assist teams in preparing five (5) numbered bowls issued to them and delivering a small serving of their Gumbo to the Judge’s Panel area beginning at 4:45 PM.

9. People's Choice Gumbo is judged only by public vote. The Gumbo with the most votes becomes the winner. Each taster will be given one ticket for both Amateur and Professional team voting. When tasters finish sampling Gumbo, they will place their ticket in the station container in front of their favorite Gumbo. Tickets will be counted to determine First, Second, and Third Place for Professionals and Amateurs. If you have the most Gumbo and friends at the competition, you might get the most votes!

Bread Pudding Bake-Off Rules
1. All contestants must pre-register for the Bread Pudding bake-off prior to February 1, 2012 to guarantee space in the competition. A registration fee of $15 benefits Tennessee Equality Project.

2. All contestants must make their Bread Pudding in a disposable 11” x 13” steam tray aluminum pan. These pans are available at local restaurant supply stores and some grocery stores.

3. All Bread Pudding must be baked in advance on the day of or the day before for the competition. There will be no kitchen facility available to prepare or bake Bread Pudding on site. (NOTE: Please follow food safety rules when preparing your Bread Pudding.)

4. Bring your Bread Pudding to the Bread Pudding booth at the event at Spectrum at 3:30 PM on Sunday, February 12, 2012. Your Bread Pudding can be delivered to the festival grounds warm or cold, (the baker’s choice). If you choose to bring “warm” Bread Pudding to the festival, and it is your wish that the participants taste the Bread Pudding while it is warm, you must provide your own heat source (electrical hot plate with extension cord, Sterno or other “canned heat”).

5. At the Bread Pudding booth, contestants must write your team name next to your on a sign. The judging coordinator will provide a container for receiving votes for a People’s Choice Award.

6. The top three entries for the best tasting Bread Pudding will be decided by the three Bread Pudding teams receiving the highest number of votes by participant ticket.

General Rules
1. The decision of the Judges is final and will be announced on stage before 6:30 pm.

2. Beer and other non-alcoholic beverages will be sold by Spectrum during the event. IDs will be checked.

3. When the tasting competition ends, each team is responsible for clean up of their area and removal of everything brought to the event.

4. Admission for the Mardi Gras Party shall be $10/person which includes tickets to vote in the People’s Choice competitions for Amateur Gumbo, Professional Gumbo and single division Bread Pudding. Members of each competing team who wish to vote in the People’s Choice Awards must purchase a ticket.

TEP Mardi Gras Party Sponsorships
Individuals, organizations or businesses may sponsor this event for only $100. Sponsorship benefits include advertising your name, organization or business in event publicity efforts (printed event posters, TEP's 5000+ member Facebook Fan Page, email invitations, and announcements from the stage at the event). Sponsors shall receive 2 sets of People’s Choice tickets to participate in the tasting and voting for the Professional and Amateur competition and the Bread Pudding bake-off. Paid sponsors may participate as Gumbo and/or Bread Pudding competitors at no extra charge. TEP requests that sponsors email a “print quality” logo for your organization or business to us at Jonathan@tnequalityproject.com by January 20, 2012 to ensure advertising for printed event posters.
Entry Form (* Required)
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By clicking "Submit," I, as team leader, have read and understand the rules of the competition and agree on behalf of my team to follow them. After clicking "Submit", instructions for paying registration or sponsorship fees will appear.
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