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Louisiana’s Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has declared Florida chef Terry White (pictured, receiving crown) the winner of the 2014 Great American Seafood Cook-Off held on 2 August in New Orleans.

White, the executive chef at Sage Restaurant in Tallahassee, Fla., won for his dish, country ham-crusted Gulf cobia with spiny lobster gyoza, caramelized baby bok choi and a Florida orange and saffron emulsion.

“I’m honored to be in New Orleans competing against all these accomplished chefs, but I never lost confidence in my Gulf cobia,” White said. “I knew if I could just get it on a plate for the judges, they would recognize the quality of the dish.”

The annual contest, now in its 11th year, challenges 18 chefs to create the best dishes using domestic seafood. Larry Delgado of Texas came in second with his Texas Two-Step dish. Louisiana chef Aaron Burgau took third with his sauteed grouper, grilled Gulf shrimp, sweet corn sabayon, charred okra and smoked Creole vinaigrette.

“Beyond naming the best seafood chef, we also get to show off the exceptional quality of Gulf seafood and encourage the competitors to feature our products in their restaurants,” Dardenne said.

The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board holds the event annually in New Orleans through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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