Time to Reine

Teen Miss Gonzales Jambalaya Berkley Parent stands with World Champ Cooks Brett Reine and his dad Robert Reine and Miss Gonzales Jambalaya Queen Lauren Blouin.

Just because you give 12 cooks the same amount of rice, same type of seasonings, same meat, same everything doesn’t mean you’ll get the same taste of jambalaya. Some pots may end over seasoned, some may come not seasoned enough. One thing is for sure is there will always be that one pot that hits the right spot.

When the 2014 Miss Gonzales Jambalaya Queen Lauren Blouin said the World Champion Jambalaya Cook has ticket number 305180, the crowd got silent. Then a family burst into cheers, tears and hugs. It was time to Reine.

Robert “Hoss” Reine had the pot that was just right at the 47th annual Gonzales Jambalaya Festival and was crowned World Jambalaya Cook, with the help of his son Brett.

“I’m so overwhelmed I just don’t know,” Reine said after being named champion.

There were eights heats of cookers through the weekend with over 100 teams hoping to get the title of best jambalaya cook in the world. However, the thrown was made this time for Reine.

Reine said cooking all weekend it’s rough and added he was “pretty whipped” until they called his name.

“I’m pretty pumped right now,” Reine said, “It’s awesome. I love it.”

“I’m glad to be part of this town and this event,” Reine said. “I’ve always loved cooking in it.”

Jambalaya Festival Association President Wally Tallion said he’s seen Reine compete in many cookouts over the years.

“I’m so proud of this guy,” Tallion said. “He’s a great cook and has really showed us all with a really fine job he’s done. I’m really proud of him.”

Twelve cookers were picked out to heat the pots on Sunday, including: Tyler Bourque, sponsored by Martinez Seafood, Cody Braud, sponsored by Braud’s Barber Shop, Scott Duplechein, sponsored by Veron’s Sausage, Brandon Elisar, sponsored by RSG Enterprises, LCC, Mike Gonzales, sponsored by Braud’s Electric, Al “Tunney” King, sponsored by David Wilcox Insurance Agency, Inc., Jarrett Marchand, sponsored by Dudley DeBossier Injury Lawyers, Laci Murphy, sponsored by Krazy Kajun, Robert Reine, sponsored by Russell Bujol, Jeremy Theriot, sponsored by Ralph’s Pharmacy, David Vidrine, sponsored by Bourg Insurance, and Greg Woodward, sponsored by Kling Heating and Air.

Reine wasn’t the only to walk away as a champion cooker during the weekend. Other winners announced were: The 2014 Champ of Champs winner was Kevin Braud; The Champ of Champs for Mini-Pot was Lyell Turner; Men’s Mini Pot Division Winners were first place Greg Gaudin, second place Carlos Braud and third place Tee Wayne Abshire; Women’s Mini-Pot Division winners were first place Lyell Turner, second place Chastity Hidalgo and third place Sharon Rowell; the Junior Mini-Pot winners were Matthew Abshire in first place and second place Mary Abshire in second place, and Clay Parent finished in third place; the Children’s Division winners were first place Carson Duplessis, second place Joel Cornett and third place Carson Thacker.