In New Orleans, cooking and eating red beans and rice on Mondays is a long-standing tradition. The New Orleans Northshore honored that history by serving up the delicious combination in a local cook-off held two Mondays in a row.
It was all part of the United Way‘s annual Red Beans and Rice Cook-Off in St Tammany Parish July 27 and Aug. 3. Participating restaurants, businesses and organizations provided their own versions of the local favorite, and Winn-Dixie store locations throughout the Northshore district took part.
The neighborhood grocer faced stiff competition from organizations such as the Slidell Fire Department, but Winn-Dixie’s beans were still crowd-pleasers. Winn-Dixie also provided New Orleans-style bread pudding for those who craved a little something extra.
“This cook-off is a great way to give back to St. Tammany Parish, while reminding the community about the delicious offerings that are available in our stores,” said New Orleans District 4 Director Chip Turner. Turner is involved in the New Orleans Northshore community and serves on the United Way board of directors. “We have been participating with United Way for this event for more than five years and for me, it is a very fulfilling to share in their commitment to the Northshore community.”
In addition to providing red beans and rice, participants were also encouraged to come up with fun team themes for the events.
Winn-Dixie associates stepped up and decked out booths for both weeks’ cook-off events. During the first week, the team’s “washday” theme incorporated the history of why red beans and rice are cooked on Mondays, and it won an honorable mention award. The following Monday, the team got really creative and decorated the booth in psychedelic colors and dressed in tie-dyed Winn-Dixie shirts for the “cool beans” theme. This unique booth idea won the team first place for the most creative booth.