“Geaux Ugly Early” with a bowl of award-winning jambalaya in Baton Rouge.

If we were going to rank the things that Southerners love most, food and football would have reserved spots on the list. For LSU fans, food and football are intertwined, especially when it comes to tailgating.

We know that every tailgater has his or her favorite recipes, and every region in the South has its own style for tailgating food. And even if you’re the biggest Tennessee, Arkansas, or Alabama fan, you have to admit that the folks in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, know how to cook. At most tailgates, you’ll find barbecue, burgers, and dips galore, but on game day at LSU, the air fills with savory Creole aromas of jambalaya, gumbo, and other seafood and traditional dishes. Brock Pellerin has been cooking up the jambalaya recipe for years, and it’s a labor of love to say the least. Brock is one of the cooks for the KOCKA Tailgating Krewe. The group’s motto is “Geaux Ugly Early,” and for the cook, that means prepping his award-winning jambalaya the day before he serves it and waking up earlier than we’d like to on game day to start cooking.

We thought that some of our best recipes “for a crowd” were doing their job to feed 10 or 12 people, but Brock’s jambalaya can feed 150 hungry football fans. When you hear him rattle off the ingredient list like he’s got it written on a piece of paper in front of him, you understand how the jambalaya can feed so many people. We can’t list all the ingredients quite like Brock, but we’ll tell you this: Among many other ingredients, his jambalaya recipe contains 25 pounds of pork, 12 pounds of smoked sausage, and 12 pounds of rice. One of the most important aspects of Brock’s jambalaya, though, isn’t the ingredient list—it’s the cooking vessel. Brock says that with any recipe, you “can’t go wrong with a black iron pot.” As traditionalists in the kitchen, we couldn’t agree more.

If you’re not an LSU fan, we highly advise making the trip to Baton Rouge if your team takes on the tigers, if only for a hot bowl of homemade jambalaya. Who's up for a road trip?

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