Winners of the 19th Annual Gumbo Cookoff Announced

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Public Relations Manager
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Winners of the 19th annual Great Southern Gumbo Cook-off at The Market Shops at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Announced

Released on Monday, January 28, 2008

Destin, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2008) – The 19th annual Great Southern Gumbo Cook-off served up winning recipes on Saturday, Jan. 12 at The Market Shops at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. This year, businesses and restaurants put their best gumbo forward in an effort to win the votes of “celebrity” judges and event participants

Nearly 1,500 attendees savored samples of gumbo from 14 area award-winning eateries and businesses, including American Air Specialist, Another Broken Egg Café, Mangos Paradise Grille, Perry’s Legendary Seafood & Steaks, Pompano Joe’s, Sandestin Real Estate, and Seering’s Piano Cafe. Gumbo fans were also treated to the tunes of Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band.

Gumbos were judged in three categories: "The Critic’s Choice," "Best Display" and "The People’s Choice," decided by the festival’s attendees. "The Critic’s Choice" was awarded to the top three businesses and restaurants, whereas one restaurant or business was selected for the "Best Display" and "The People’s Choice" awards.

So, who served the best gumbo this year? In the restaurant category, the celebrity judges awarded "Critic’s Choice" first prize to 98 Bar-B-Que. Second and third prize winners were Rum Runners in The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin and Hurricane Oyster Bar & Grill, respectively.

Frill Seekers in The Village of Baytowne Wharf received the top “Critic’s Choice” award in the business category. The Soundside Club at Hurlburt Field and ResortQuest took home second and third prices, respectively.

In fact, The Soundside Club at Hurlburt Field was also praised by event attendees with "The People’s Choice" award. Buster’s Bar & Grill won for "Best Display."

Regional celebrity judges included Chef Heem Chee, executive chef for Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort; Chris Chirum, executive chef and owner of The Wild Olive; Lori Eckert, editor of Emerald Coast Magazine; Tom Rice, owner of Marlin Grill in The Village of Baytowne Wharf; Aimee Shaffer, news director/public service director for Quantum Communications; and Traci Stokes, marketing director for Silver Sands Factory Stores.

As in past years, The Market Shops will contribute a portion of the net proceeds from the Gumbo Cook-off to the Covenant Hospice of Northwest Florida and Okaloosa-Walton Child Care Service, Inc., both of which are United Way agencies.

Businesses and restaurants are invited to sign up for the 20th annual Great Southern Gumbo Cook-off today. The event is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2009. For more information or to sign up, please call Ria Pruiett at 850/267-8092.

To secure reservations at Sandestin, call 800/622-1084 or visit


Photo Captions:
Photo #1 – Gumbo fans of all ages love 98 Bar-B-Que’s version, and so did the Critics. Representatives from 98-Bar-B-Que proudly accepted the top "Critics Choice" honor at the 19th annual Great Southern Gumbo Cook-off at The Market Shops at Sandestin


Photo #2 –
Representatives from The Soundside at Hurlburt Field were honored to accept both the coveted “People’s Choice” and second place honor “Critic’s Choice” awards at the 19th annual Great Southern Gumbo Cook-off at The Market Shops at Sandestin.


Attn Editors: Color Photography available.

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a 2,400 acre resort located in Northwest Florida, between Pensacola and Panama City, eight miles east of Destin. Sandestin is an award-winning resort located on 7.5 miles of beach and bayfront property with 1,450 accommodations and 65,000 square feet of meeting space. Sandestin guests enjoy a wide variety of complimentary amenities, including the new Village of Baytowne Wharf, property-wide tram service, daily use of the Sandestin health club (adults only), complimentary use of bicycles, canoes, kayaks, boogie boards and tennis court time, plus free children's fishing licenses for our many stocked ponds. To further enhance the guest experience, Sandestin introduces the Surf Club, the new exclusive VIP section of

Intrawest Corporation (IDR: NYSE; ITW: TSX) is the leading developer and operator of village-centered resorts across North America. The company owns nine mountain resorts, including Whistler Blackcomb, North America's most popular mountain resort. Intrawest also owns Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Florida and has a premier vacation ownership business, Club Intrawest. The company has a 45 percent interest in Alpine helicopters Ltd., owner of Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world. Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and is located on the World Wide Web at