“It really blows people’s minds, like you’re really cooking gumbo out here,” Kenny “Squirrel,” Rhodes told me one Sunday morning when I arrived at his party. He and his crew, mostly from his Violet, La. business Black Pot Catering, started cooking at 7 a.m. that morning. Rhodes made the gumbo from scratch in a 30-gallon cast iron black pot that included chicken, andouille sausage, and green onions. For noon games, they start cooking at 7 a.m and finish breaking down by 5:30 p.m. Rhodes, a season ticket holder, said the games got too expensive. So six years ago, he and his crew decided to still go to the Superdome, but skip the game.
“People can’t afford the games,” Rhodes told me. “And people can’t afford to enjoy themselves, so we just provide everything so that they can.” From toddlers to grandparents, friends, families, fraternity brothers, strangers like me, a law enforcement officer and even a delivery woman parked her truck to get a plate.