La. prepares for 10th annual cook-off
In less than two months, Louisiana will once again host a collection of chefs from around the country in its annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off.
The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board is presenting the competition, which is now in its 10th year. Louisiana’s governor Bobby Jindal unofficially kicked the competition off earlier this the year by sending a letter to the governors of every state, inviting them to appoint a chef to travel to New Orleans to compete for the title of King or Queen of American Seafood. The contest will take place on 3 August.
“We are excited to welcome each state’s competitor to our 10th annual gathering of America’s greatest seafood chefs,” said Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and the creator of the Great American Seafood Cook-Off. “Each year we bring a new and diverse group of America’s most talented chefs to New Orleans, and it is fast becoming apparent that 2013 will be the most exciting year yet.”
Chefs are required to use domestic, sustainably-produced seafood. Last year, chef Gregory Gourdet of Departure Restaurant in Portland, Ore., won the top prize for his dish of Oregon Chinook salmon featuring butter clams, bacon Dashi, porcini, roasted heirloom tomato and crispy sea greens.
According to the board, many states hold their own cook-offs earlier in the year, and nominate the winner to go to New Orleans. So far this year, Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Carolina have all promised to send a candidate. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has already named a nominee to represent his state: Elise Wiggins, executive chef of Panzano in Denver.
In addition to the adult competition, youth group 4-H will also send chef representatives from a number of states to prepare seafood dishes in a competition on the Sunday following the Great American Seafood Cook-Off. In the second competition, youth chefs will have to prepare seafood dishes totaling 500 or fewer calories.