If you love a good cooking competition, New Orleans is the place to be on Saturday, August 5 when 13 chefs from around the U.S. compete for the title of King or Queen of American Seafood. The 2017 Great American Seafood Cook-Off (GASCO) will be held at the Ernest Morial Convention Center Aug. 5, 2017, at 11:30 a.m., in front of a live audience and panel of nationally-acclaimed judges.
Chef Bonnie Breaux, executive chef at The St. John Restaurant, a pecan warehouse overlooking Bayou Teche in St. Martinville, Louisiana was crowned Queen of Louisiana Seafood at the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off on June 20, 2017. Her culinary career began with opening Breaux’s Cajun Catering in Covington, Louisiana followed by time at the Roux restaurant in Tampa, Florida, sharing her expertise in Louisiana cuisine across South Florida. Recently, she was chosen as one of the 26 exclusive chefs to prepare a dish for the James Beard Sunday Supper fundraising benefit.
During the Aug. 5 competition, each chef will prepare a dish that highlights the use of domestic seafood while interacting with a live audience, celebrity hosts and the “chef ref”. Each dish will be presented to a panel of nationally known judges, who will score based on presentation, creativity, composition, craftsmanship and flavor. In its 14th year, the 2017 Great American Seafood Cook-Off continues to promote the quality and variety of domestic seafood.
“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,” said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. “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 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.
The full list of competitors includes:
- 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 Jennifer Behm-Lazzarini, Rhode Island (RED FIN Crudo + Kitchen)
- Chef Ryan Coffindaffer, South Carolina (The Alisa Pub)
- Chef Joe Cervantez, Texas (Brennan’s of Houston)
Meet the judges:
- Monti Carlo – Food Network Personality
- Steve Green – Founder and CEO of #FoodieChats
- Chef Brian Landry – Borgne in New Orleans, LA
- David Mezz – Deputy Editor of Garden & Gun magazine
- Chef Brian West – Smoke: The Restaurant in San Antonio, TX
Meet the hosts:
- 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, LA
Meet the Chef Ref:
- Chef Chris Sherrill – former GASCO competitor, Flora Bama Yacht Club, Perdido Key, FL
Louisiana Seafood would like to thank the 2017 GASCO sponsors: Louisiana Restaurant Association and Libbey.
Tickets are $10 at the door with proceeds benefitting the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.greatamericanseafoodcookoff.com.