BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — In Downtown Baton Rouge, the 35th annual Jambalaya Jam took place.

Held on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., many guests were invited out to North Boulevard Town Square to enjoy some cold drinks, live music by After 8, and of course, sampling the many flavors of Jambalaya.

“It’s just really cool to see everyone out here with their and you know just kind of very Louisiana and embrace the culture,” said social media coordinator of SIGMA, Sarah Edwards.

There were 56 cooks competing for the champion title during the Jam. As many Louisiana residents know, the Jambalaya cooks are not afraid of a little competition.

“We got the best Jambalaya in the state OK?” said cook Tanner Douct from Olin. “We come from a group of guys who have been doing this for over 20 to 30 years.”

Plus, it comes to the hard labor of cooking out in the heat. “What it takes it takes a lot of pizzazz. Ok? It takes somebody who’s willing to be out here every day. Long, long hours. Early mornings late nights,” stated Douct.

The “Jam Jam” was presented by Shell and benefits Capital Area United Way.

“We’ve had our ups and downs along the way, so we’re excited about the opportunity to participate,” said Damon Blanchard, cook for Shell. “We’re trying to do our little touch hopefully the judges will see their way through it for us.”

The Jambalaya Jam is United Area Capital Way’s largest fundraiser of the year. According to their Senior Communications Director, Ashley Monthenino, she says that fundraiser goes towards supporting programs and grants in our ten parish services.

To view a list of all teams that participated in the 2022 Jambalaya Jam, click here.