American seafood cooking competition crowns winner
An Alaska chef and entrepreneur has taken the top prize in the 2015 Great American Seafood Cook-Off, held this past Saturday in New Orleans, La., USA.
Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne announced that Beau Schooler was crowned King of American Seafood at the event, held at the Morial Convention Center.
Schooler, together with sous chef Travis Hotch, beat out 11 other competitors from all over the United States with his recipe for nose-to-tail Sockeye salmon.
“I think we more than exceeded our expectations for this dish,” Schooler said. “We're definitely excited at the reception the judges gave the sockeye salmon. It is a beautiful fish but it is labor-intensive – almost 10 minutes just to prep the fish. But I think that when prepared correctly, this is a fish that can really take off nationally.”
Chef Adam Evans of Georgia placed second with his roasted spear-caught lionfish with Sapelo Island clams. Chef Michael Brewer of Louisiana came in third with his recipe for Louisiana seafood nachos.
“We enjoyed hosting the 12 chefs competing for the coveted title of America’s Best Seafood Chef,” Dardenne said. “Congratulations to chef Schooler for captivating the judges’ taste buds among such a talented field.”
Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Schooler trained at the Italian Culinary Institute in Calabria, Italy before returning to Alaska to open The Rookery Café. He later opened specialty grocery store Panhandle Provisions, and Mexican restaurant the Taqueria.