Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board will host the 12th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, in at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans

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Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board will host the 12th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, in at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Twelve chefs from throughout the U.S. will compete for the highly coveted title of America’s Best Seafood Chef.


“Louisiana Seafood is renowned worldwide, and we’re proud that so many prestigious chefs want to come here to demonstrate their creativity using their own states’ native seafood,” Lt. Governor Dardenne said. “Our centuries-old and world-famous seafood culture makes New Orleans and Louisiana a natural fit for such a significant culinary competition.”


The competition will be streamed live at Tickets can be purchased on the website and at all Louisiana Whole Foods locations for $5, or at the door for $10. The Cook-Off is held in conjunction with the Louisiana Restaurant Association, and tickets to the 62nd Louisiana Foodservice & Hospitality Expo include admission to the Cook-Off. Chefs competing are:


Alabama George Reis Ocean
Alaska Beau Schooler The Rookery Café
Florida Jim Shirley The Bay
Georgia Adam Evans The Optimist
Louisiana Michael Brewer The Sammich
Maine Chris Hart The Blaine House
Mississippi Ty Thames Restaurant Tyler
New Jersey Bryan Gregg Escape Montclair
Oklahoma Kurt Fleischfresser Vast
Oregon Doug Adams Imperial
South Carolina Ron Andrews Bray’s Island Plantation
Texas Brian West Smoke, The Restaurant


Cory Bahr, 2011 Cook-Off competitor and chef/owner of Cotton and Nonna restaurants in Monroe will serve as master of ceremonies for the fourth consecutive year and will be joined by Baton Rouge media personality Johnny Ahysen. Chef Randy Cheramie, executive director of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University, will officiate over the competition as the “chef ref.”


Judges for this year’s contest include Brooke Bell, editor of Taste of the South and editorial director of

Louisiana Cookin’; Steve Green, founder and CEO of #Foodiechats; Anne E. McBride, culinary program and editorial director for strategic initiatives at The Culinary Institute of America; Barton Seaver, director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; chef Rick Tramonto, executive chef and founding partner of Tru in Chicago; and chef Wesley True, returning to the Cook-Off after winning second place in 2010.


Following the opening ceremony at 11:45 a.m., cooking will begin at noon. The chefs will have staggered start times separated by 15 minutes, and each chef will have one hour to create and plate his dish before cooking ends at 4 p.m. Guests will enjoy live music by The Michael Foster Project until the closing ceremony begins at 4:40 p.m., and America’s Best Seafood Chef 2015 will be announced at 4:50 p.m.


The Cook-Off is dedicated to promoting sustainable and domestic fisheries and is produced in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Whole Foods Market, Southwest Cargo, Taste of the South and TABASCO.


New Orleans chef John Besh claimed the inaugural title in 2004, and Florida chef Terry White’s Country Ham Crusted Gulf Cobia with Spiny Lobster Gyoza, Caramelized Baby Bok Choi and a Florida Orange and Saffron Emulsion dish won him the 2014 title. During this year’s competition, guests will be able to sample dishes from chef White as well as from sponsors.


For the fourth consecutive year, organizers will join 4-H to host a youth cook-off on the Sunday following the Great American Seafood Cook-Off. Competitors are required to prepare seafood dishes with no more than 750 calories, and teams from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas will compete.


Visit for more information. Follow Great American Seafood Cook-Off on Instagram @GASCO and like the Cook-Off on Facebook at


Photos and biographies of the competing chefs, hosts and judges can be found at




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