Gulping the Gulf: The 8th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off

Will Blunt, Antoinette Bruno, and Katherine Martinelli
August 2011

Additional Information

The Great American Seafood Cook-Off

Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 11:30am

Morial Convention Center, Hall J
900 Convention Center Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70130

For more information, visit

If you’re lucky enough to be in New Orleans this weekend, you’ve got a chance to catch (get it?) the Great American Seafood Cook-Off. With the Gulf Coast healed up and humming along after last year’s oil spill, this year’s competition will be an opportunity to witness some seriously talented chefs (who'll cook seafood from local and national waters) and stuff yourself silly.

The competition, sponsored by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, pits some major chef talent, hailing from Alaska to Alabama, in a battle primed to show off the bounty of the America's waters. This year marks the 8th Annual Cook-Off, whose past winners include John Besh of Restaurant August and 2011 Houston Rising Star Chef Randy Evans of Haven.

This year Emcee Chefs John Folse and Kevin Roberts will lead the festivities, which the public can see—and taste—for a mere $5. And judges include Chefs Collaborative Executive Director Melissa Kogut, seafood guru Chef Rick Moonen, and our own Managing Editor, Will Blunt—meaning standards will be high, competition will be serious, and, most importantly, this particular New Orleans convention hall will be absolutely swimming in seafood.


Congratulations to Chef Jim Smith of Alabama, who took home the prize for his Late Summer Alabama Bounty dish.

» click photo to enlarge
Duck Egg and Crawfish Carbonara from Chef Tory McPhail at Commander's Palace - New Orleans, LA Grilled Amberjack, Plaintain and Long Bean Saute, Pomengranate, and Thai Basil at Reef in Houston, TX Louisiana Oysters in Bacon at Bistro Daisy in New Orleans, LA Pork Belly and Clams from Chef Steven McHough of Luke - New Orleans, LA