Episcopal Place Names Honorary Chair for 2017 Gumbo Gala

December 27, 2016

Episcopal Place is pleased to announce that Chef Jim Smith will serve as the 2017 Honorary Chair of its 12th annual Gumbo Gala fund-raiser. Chef Smith is the Executive Chef of the State of Alabama and Chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission.  As the state chef, he has placed an emphasis on using the best local ingredients and has made strides to encourage support of local farmers and Alabama fishers. He uses his position as ambassador of food, to promote farmer’s markets and events that support Alabama food products. Smith is not only responsible for the daily preparation of food for the First Family, but he is also responsible for planning and preparing menus for events sponsored by the state. 
“I am honored to be part of such a great event celebrating gumbo and a great cause,” said Chef Smith.
In 2011, Smith was crowned the King of American Seafood by winning The Great American Seafood-Cook-Off and became the national spokesperson for Alabama Seafood, American Sustainable Seafood, Gulf Seafood and the NOAA.  He has traveled the country educating the Americans about the benefits of sustainable seafood.  As Chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission, Chef Smith is proud to be a part of the great work being done to promote Alabama Seafood. 
Chef Smith has been chosen as one of eight new chefs to compete in season fourteen of Bravo’s Top Chef, which premiers on TV on December 1, 2016.
“Gumbo Gala is now in its 12th year – drawing over 2,000 participants, and raising awareness of Episcopal Place’s assistance to low-income seniors and disabled adults,” said Episcopal Place Executive Director, Tim Blanton.  “We are thrilled have Chef Jim Smith as our 2017 Honorary Chair and thank him for being a long time friend of Episcopal Place and serving several years as a judge in Gumbo Gala’s competition."
Gumbo Gala is now recruiting cook-teams for the competition that will take place April 22, 2017 at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham. There are awards for backyard and professional chefs as well as teen teams from schools and churches. Gumbo is judged on aroma, consistency, color, and taste. Chef Jim Smith will present Best Overall Gumbo Trophy and a $1,000 cash award to the winning Professional Division Team.  To register a cook-team for the 2017 Gumbo Gala, please visit Gumbo Gala on Facebook or call 205-939-0085. There are discounts for early registration.

Episcopal Place provides a unique opportunity for housing and meaningful participation in a caring community. It is that spirit of caring community fostered by board, residents and staff that set Episcopal Place apart from other federally subsidized apartment communities. Episcopal Place provides safe affordable housing for low-income seniors and disabled adults. The organization also provides meals and food services, pastoral care, transportation, housekeeping services, coordination of health services, social activities, and more.
Gumbo Gala is an annual fund-raiser for Episcopal Place, providing the funding for the essential supportive services and programs for residents. In addition to the gumbo cooking competition, Gumbo Gala includes a children’s play area, live music and dancing, free souvenirs, arts and crafts and merchandise vendors, a beer garden, food trucks and other entertainments.

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