Crawfish Cook-Off was ‘Slap Ya Mama’ Good

The hustle and bustle is a strange sight for a Saturday afternoon at St. Paul's
The threat of inclement weather did not affect the attendance
level for this year’s Alumni Crawfish Cook-off.

(COVINGTON,La.) — On Saturday, April 18, 2015, the smell of crawfish filled the air as people flooded the campus to participate in the annual Alumni Crawfish Cook-Off. Students, alumni, and Covington locals alike came together for their mutual love of the little red crustacean. Even the inclement weather before the event was not enough to keep them away.

“We had two pots going, and still had a hard time keeping up with demand,” said Candy Modeen of the RE/MAX boiling team. “Next year, we’re bringing three pots.”

According to event organizers, this year’s cook-off was quite successful in terms of attendance as well as in the number of participating boiling teams at 28, the highest number to date. There were several thousand pounds of crawfish cooked to feed the large crowd in attendance. Of the attendees, there were several alumni cook-off team members, volunteers, faculty, members of the St. Paul’s Community, of the community at large, alumni, and a large contingent of Reunion Alumni celebrating their anniversary reunions.

Teams each bring unique recipes of ingredients and spice blends to compete for best flavor.

Although the weather eventually cleared up, the event’s organizer Al Nastasi was impressed with crowd reactions despite having to walk through the sloppy fields brought about by the rain earlier that morning.

“They had a great time out there in the beautiful weather just eating good crawfish,” said Nastasi.

Spirits were high, and the event had the Covington community buzzing.

“St. Paul’s interactions with the Covington community always turns out well,” said Nastasi.

The cook-off is also St. Paul’s largest event for returning alumni. The alumni enjoyed returning to their old stomping grounds to partake in the festivities.

“They like being on campus and seeing all of their old classmates, as well as the changes and improvements to the campus,” said Nastasi. “The fellowship that these guys share is amazing.”

Special tables were reserved for this year’s honored “anniversary” classes, which included any class with a graduation date ending in a five or a zero.

Lagniappe Tree Works booth displays first place.
Lagniappe Tree Works proudly displays the booth decorations that earned this year’s first place award.

As far as which cooking teams were deemed the best, there were four categories: Best Booth Decorations, People’s Choice, Judges’ Choice, and Overall. The winners in each category, respectively, were Lagniappe Tree Works, Geaux Creole, Billiot Pest Control, and Graphic Centre Signs.

Organizers are currently discussing the details of the recent event and working on preparations for next year.

“We’re putting together a post-event committee to evaluate what went well this year and to plan to make next year even better,” said Nastasi.

For more information about the annual cook-off, email Al Nastasi at

(photos by Christi Simoneaux)

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Related article: “Crawfish Cook-Off to Spice Up Weekend” by Nick Ashton.


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