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Raleigh jambalaya cook-off raises money for Louisiana flood victims

Posted August 20

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— As Louisiana launches into recovery mode following recent floods, and annual jambalaya cook-off turned into a relief effort for a Raleigh restaurant with special connections to the Bayou state.

Sharky’s Place on Duraleigh Road in Raleigh holds a jambalaya cook-off every year but owner Randy Wilson, who lived in Louisiana for many years, said Saturday’s event had to be about more than a cooking contest.

“I lived 20 years in New Orleans. My wife is born and raised there, my boys are both born there. Quite a bit of the family was affected by Katrina,” he said.

Wilson said he knows what it’s like to experience a flood and knows the people of Baton Rouge need all the help they can get.

“If you’ve never been caught in a flood…floods are devastating. They soak up, eat up your house. Your whole house is just destroyed, gone. I’ve lost cars, homes,” he said. “Mattresses can’t be saved, your clothes can’t be saved. I mean, it’s devastating. When people lose everything, they lose everything.”

It cost $8 for a plate of jambalaya and $2 to enter the raffle drawing Saturday night and additional donations were accepted. All proceeds will go directly to the Red Cross and flood relief.

Regardless of how competitors make their Jambalaya, everyone involved has a love for Louisiana and wants to do all that they can to help.

Paul Heroy said he has the secret for making authentic jambalaya- good sausage- and has an authentic love for the state that made the dish popular.

“I’m from Baton Rouge and I have lots of friends and family back there and several of whom have been evacuated from their homes and have pretty much lost everything, so it’s very personal,” he said.

The event raised over $3,000 for flood victims.

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