12 chefs picked to compete in the "ultimate" seafood cooking contest

The competition is heating up for the 2017 Great American Seafood Cook-Off, taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana U.S.A. on 5 August. 

Louisiana’s Chef Bonnie Breaux will go head-to-head with 11 other culinary masters from across the United States to win the coveted crown in the 14th annual “ultimate seafood cooking competition,” which challenges competitors to prepare a dish highlighting domestic seafood. The competition is observed by a live audience and judged by a panel culinary experts.

Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, and the Louisiana Office of Tourism are enthused to host the event in New Orleans, a noted seafood hub.

“It’s a natural fit to host America’s seafood competition here in New Orleans because seafood is at the core of so much of our way of life here in Louisiana,” Nungesser said. “We’re eager to welcome chefs from across the nation, including Louisiana’s Chef Bonnie Breaux, as they duke it out with their best seafood dishes that showcase delicious and healthy domestic seafood using their culinary creativity.”

To compete in the cook-off, chefs must either hold the current title of King or Queen of Seafood or be appointed by the lieutenant governor of their respective state. Dishes composed by the competing chefs will be judged based on presentation, creativity, composition, craftsmanship, and flavor.

Among the chefs competing this year are:

  • Chef Brody Olive, Alabama (Voyager’s Restaurant at Perdido Beach Resort)
  • Chef Lionel Udippa, Alaska (SALT)
  • Chef Jason Perry, Florida (The Fish House)
  • Chef Ryan Nelson, Indiana (Late Harvest)
  • Chef Bonnie Breaux, Louisiana (The St. John Restaurant)
  • Chef Kyle McClelland, Massachusetts (Saltie Girl)
  • Chef David Dickensauge, Mississippi (Corks & Cleaver Wine Bistro)
  • Chef Amber DiGiovanni, Missouri (Cookbook author and culinary teacher)
  • Chef Jay Smith, New Hampshire (Copper Door)
  • Chef Mark Quinones, New Mexico (MAS Tapas y Vino)
  • Chef Ryan Coffindaffer, South Carolina (The Alisa Pub)
  • Chef Joe Cervantez, Texas (Brennan’s of Houston)

The judges panel includes:

  • Monti Carlo – Food Network Personality
  • Steve Green – Founder and CEO of #FoodieChats
  • Chef Brian Landry – Borgne in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • David Mezz – Deputy Editor of Garden & Gun magazine
  • Chef Brian West – Smoke: The Restaurant in San Antonio, Texas

Hosting the 2017 Great American Seafood Cook-Off are:

  • Chef Cory Bahr – Celebrity chef and finalist on season 13 of “The Next Food Network Star”
  • Chef Rusty Hamlin – Executive chef for Zac Brown Band and finalist on season 13 of “The Next Food Network Star”
  • Paul Murphy – WWL-TV (CBS) in New Orleans, Lousiana 

Chef Chris Sherrill, of Florida-based Flora Bama Yacht Club and a former GASCO competitor, will referee the event. 


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