Noranda holds tasty kickoff to annual United Way campaign

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 11, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

GRAMERCY – Three teams competed to win judges’ favor in the flavor department during Noranda Alumina’s second annual jambalaya cook-off on Wednesday.
The jambalaya jam was started as a kick-off for the plant’s United Way employee campaign and is currently in its second year.
Bowls of jambalaya were served for a minimum donation of $1 to the United Way. More than 50 pounds of rice was cooked for the small competition, but that was apparently not enough to satiate the appetites of the hungry plant employees. The first day of the cooking competition and fundraiser was so popular, it sold out within 30 minutes. The company raised $1,185 during the two-day event. The company had set a goal of $33,000 for its campaign.
Three teams competed for the honor of representing the plant during the Capital Area United Way Jambalaya Jam in October: Team Two, made up of father-son duo Justin and John Courville, took first place in the tasting competition. Second place winners were Shayne Marchand and Claude “Blue” Forsythe, of Team Three. Pat Rome and Donald Blank took third place. Judges were Wally Tallion, Gilbert Tallion and Mike Gonzales.
The winning team said their father-son bond may have been what gave their recipe the edge. The pair said their special brand of jambalaya has been popular during hunting and camping trips. John Courville said they’ve prepared the dish for at least 15 years.
The plant’s communications director, Angela Broussard, said the company has done other events in the past, but this event is special because it gave the employees the opportunity to interact with United Way representatives.