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Louisiana Seafood News
Louisiana Seafood News

Alaska Chef Wins 2015 Great American Seafood Cook-Off

Alaska chef Beau Schooler won the 2015 Great American Seafood Cook-Off held Saturday (Aug. 8) at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Schooler partnered with sous chef Travis Hotch to create a Nose-To-Tail Sockeye Salmon dish. Chef Adam Evans of Georgia finished second with his Roasted Spear-Caught Lionfish with Sapelo Island Clams. Louisiana chef Michael Brewer took third place with his Louisiana Seafood Nachos.

For his efforts, Schooler was literally crowned as the King of American Seafood.

"We enjoyed hosting the 12 chefs competing for the coveted title of America's Best Seafood Chef. Congratulations to chef Schooler for captivating the judges' taste buds among such a talented field," Lt. Gov. Dardenne said in a press release. "Beyond naming the best seafood chef, we also get to show off the exceptional quality of Gulf seafood and encourage the competitors to feature our products in their restaurants."

The 12th annual event, hosted by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board through funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is billed as North America's premier seafood cooking competition, dedicated to promoting sustainable and domestic fisheries.

"I think we more than exceeded our expectations for this dish," Schooler, owner of The Rookery Cafe in Juneau, Alaska, said in the release. "We're definitely excited at the reception the judges gave the sockeye salmon. It is a beautiful fish but it is labor intensive--almost 10 minutes just to prep the fish. But I think that when prepared correctly, this is a fish that can really take off nationally."

States that hold qualifying competitions for the event include Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas.

A youth cook-off, co-hosted by event organizers and 4-H, will be held Sunday. Competitors must prepare seafood dishes not exceeding 750 calories; teams from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas will compete.

The event also coincided with the inaugural Chef Taste Challenge, which also was held at the Morial Conventino Center.

Previous winners of the Great American Seafood Cook-Off include:

  • 2014 - Terry White, Florida
  • 2013 - David Crews, Mississippi
  • 2012 - Gregory Gourdet, Oregon
  • 2011 - Jim Smith, Alabama
  • 2010 - Dean Max, Florida
  • 2009 - Tory McPhail, Louisiana
  • 2008 - John Currence, Mississippi
  • 2007 - Tim Thomas, Georgia
  • 2006 - Justin Timineri, Florida
  • 2005 - Randy Evans, Texas
  • 2004 - John Besh, Louisiana

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