Chef Danny Smith of Frank’s Outback in Pawleys Island to face-off against 15 other chefs from around the country in a national seafood cooking competition.
The 2019 Great American Seafood Cook-Off will be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans on Saturday, Aug. 3.
This year’s cooking battle features chefs from 15 states and, for the first time one territory, Guam. The 16th annual event gets underway with Opening Ceremonies at 11:30 am as 16 chefs, each representing their home state or territory, cook in front of a live audience and a panel of nationally-acclaimed judges.
“The Great American Seafood Cook-Off is the perfect stage to celebrate Louisiana and America’s domestic seafood industry – the best in the world,” said Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. “This year there will be a very talented field of chefs from all over the country vying to be crowned the next ‘King or Queen of American Seafood’ right here in New Orleans. Each chef will be showcasing their skills with domestic seafood to present the best seafood dishes.”
During the competition, each chef will prepare a dish highlighting the use of domestic seafood while interacting with the live audience, celebrity hosts Chef Cory Bahr, Food Network Star Finalist, Food Network Chopped! Champion, and a former King of Louisiana Seafood as well as “chef ref” Chef Michael Brewer, also a former King of Louisiana Seafood.
Each dish will be presented to a panel of nationally-renowned judges who will score based on presentation, creativity, composition, craftsmanship, and flavor. The Great American Seafood Cook-Off promotes the quality and variety of domestic seafood found in the United States.
To be eligible to compete in the event, chefs must either hold the current title of King or Queen of Seafood or be appointed by the lieutenant governor of their respective state or territory. Last year’s King of American Seafood, Louisiana’s Chef Ryan Trahan of the Blue Dog Café won the title with his dish of “Cracklin-crusted” Red Snapper with pickled crawfish tails, buttermilk chili consommé, spring vegetables, burnt leek oil, fermented cream, and bowfin caviar, knocking out 11 of the nation’s best chefs.
The event is held in conjunction with the Louisiana Restaurant Association Foodservice Expo. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Chef Smith would be the first competitor from South Carolina to win the event if he were successful.
New for 2019, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board is partnering with the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch program. Smart Catch is an educational sustainable seafood program created by chefs for chefs with the purpose of increasing the sustainability of the seafood supply chain. The Smart Catch program provides training and support to chefs so they can serve seafood fished or farmed in environmentally responsible ways. By becoming a Smart Catch Leader and earning the Smart Catch seal, chefs give consumers a simple way to identify and support their restaurants.
Chefs, restaurants, and seafood suppliers interested in becoming part of the Smart Catch program can visit www.jamesbeard.org/smart-catch for more information.