Here in the deep south, fresh and authentic seafood has become ingrained in our culinary identity, with seafood recipes and traditions being passed down from generation to generation of Louisiana natives. For the past fifteen years, the Louisiana Seafood and Marketing Board has honored this traditional cuisine through the annual seafood cook-off, featuring chefs from all over the state battling for the title of King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood.
This year, the competition will be fierce, with twelve chefs bringing the best of their culinary expertise straight to the table on Tuesday, June 7. The cook-off is scheduled to take place at the Cajundome Convention Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, and judges will, no doubt, have some difficulty in naming the best of the best.
With so many incredible seafood chefs throughout the state of Louisiana, the competitors for the 15th Annual Seafood Cook-Off were handpicked with a tremendous degree of difficulty, already, demonstrating the soon-to-be winner as a true New Orleans' culinary legend. About the upcoming showdown, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser admitted, "With so many chefs in Louisiana to choose from, it was hard to narrow it down to just 12 competitors. There is no doubt judging dishes this year will be more difficult than ever before."
While it will certainly be a challenge to decide the King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood, the judging panel for the Cook-Off includes culinary icons that are more than up to the task. With experts such as Chef Edgar "Dooky" Chase of the notable Dooky Chase Restaurant family and Celeste Chachere, the great-granddaughter of the famous Creole chef Tony Chachere, the competitors will definitely need to bring their A-game to this year's cook-off.
Each of the competing chefs have already firmly established themselves as worthy culinary powerhouses in the Louisiana community, in being the executive chef of their respective restaurants, and among the twelve chefs to compete, eight are completely new to the competition, with this year being their first attempt in the seafood cook-off. Whether they're new to the showdown, or a seasoned veteran, the winner of the competition will go on to represent the state of Louisiana at the Great American Seafood Cookoff among other culinary events. First, though, these chefs will need to prepare their seafood dishes better than they ever have before to win the title of King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood. The 2022 competition is fierce to say the least!