Riverside Coney Island brings special recipe/method to the Crawfish-Gator Fest

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Almost everyone in Louisiana knows how to eat good crawfish. But, do they know how to make it...and for thousands?

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News

"Nobody does it like me," Rodney Moore said.

Moore's grandpa started Riverside Coney Island, and they call themselves the real craw daddies, with experience to back it up.

"Well, Coney Island's been open for about 30 years."

But for the past three at the Crawfish-Gator Festival, they get to boiling a little differently.

"I know the first year when we opened up at the Ike Hamilton, I cooked about 30,000 pounds."

And not just in a regular ole pot. This weekend, that's for the potatoes and corn. The mudbugs go in a huge cooker, called "The Hopper," where they can cook, season, and serve them in a matter of minutes.

"You can cook one to two sacks in the small little cookers," Moore said. "But you can cook six at a time in this cooker. If you're in a bind, it'll get you out real quick. When you here somebody say, 'we're bringing out the big guns, this is what they mean.'"

And it's not just the hopper. For the festival, Riverside Coney Island brings out the entire kitchen - smokers and grills that can fit a whole gator.

But why do they do it every year?

"We love giving people a show," Moore said. "You know, they want to see the gator, see the crawfish. So that's what we want to show them."

It's a show that's fulfilled a lifelong dream for one person in Moore's family.

"This is my grandfather, Tom Hardy's dream," Moore said. "He built this business up, and it's his dream to do this - have his own carnival and festival going on. It's all for him. I'm here for him, and he's loving it."