Chef Jim Smith, executive chef of the Alabama Governor’s Mansion, took first place at the eighth annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans. He impressed the judges with a dish titled “Late Summer Alabama Bounty” that featured sous vide shrimp and marinated crab with garam masala, scented yellow squash puree, farmers market lady peas, bacon-peach relish and Spanish basil oil.
The event, sponsored by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and presented by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, is known for pitting up-and-coming chefs against recognized culinary greats from throughout the United States. The chefs were asked to create unique dishes with domestic seafood, and utilize fish that’s native to their home states. Prior winners include John Currence of City Grocery in Oxford, MS and John Besh of Restaurant August in New Orleans.
Earlier this year, organizers of The Great American Seafood Cook-Off encouraged states to hold a qualifying round or appoint a chef to compete in the event. There were chefs representing 14 states such as: Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. The 2011 Great American Seafood Cook Off is endorsed by the National Restaurant Association and will be audited by the National Fisheries Institute.
More information is available at www.GreatAmericanSeafoodCookoff.com