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EIGHT FIRST-TIME COMPETITORS AMONG THE 12 CHEFS CHOSEN TO BATTLE IN THE 15TH ANNUAL LOUISIANA SEAFOOD COOK-OFF

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The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board today announced the selection of chefs from across the state to represent their areas in the 15th Annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off (LASCO). Among the 12 chefs announced today are eight first-time competitors vying to take the crown of King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood. This year’s competition will be held Tuesday, June 7, at the Cajundome Convention Center in Lafayette.

“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,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “In Louisiana, good food is just part of what connects us to our diverse heritage and seafood is a big part of that. From recipes passed down through generations to the culinary creations of our state’s chefs, seafood has developed a culinary identity for Louisiana unlike any other state. That’s the main reason for events like the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off. It’s a chance to celebrate the great contribution of our chefs, and our hard working seafood industry, make in Louisiana that truly Feed Your Soul.”

Chefs competing to become the 2022 King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood include:

  • Ryan Cashio; Cajun House & Catering, LLC; Laplace (First-time Competitor)
  • Amanda Cusey; The Villa Harlequin; Lake Charles (First-time Competitor)
  • Russell Davis; Eliza Restaurant & Bar and JED’S Local Louisiana Po’boys; Baton Rouge (First-time Competitor)
  • David Dickensauge; Tsunami; Baton Rouge (Competed in 2014, 2015)
  • Ben Fidelak; Mariner’s Restaurant; Natchitoches (Competed in 2017, 2020)
  • Ryan Gaudet; Spahr’s Seafood; Des Allemands (Competed in 2015, 2016)
  • Kyle Hudson; Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine; Baton Rouge (First-time Competitor)
  • Karlos Knott; Bayou Teche Brewing & Cajun Saucer; Arnaudville (First-time Competitor)
  • Brett Monteleone; Junior’s on Harrison; New Orleans (First-time Competitor)
  • Amy Sins; Langlois; New Orleans (Competed in 2016, 2019, 2020)
  • Joshua Spell; Fezzo’s Seafood Steakhouse & Oyster Bar; Crowley (First-time Competitor)
  • Grant Wallace; Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse; New Orleans (First-time Competitor)

To be eligible to compete, a chef must be the executive chef of a free-standing Louisiana restaurant belonging to the Louisiana Restaurant Association, a proud partner of both the Louisiana and Great American Seafood Cook-Offs.

“What differentiates Louisiana from our Gulf neighbors is the access we have to an abundance of seafood,” said Stan Harris, President and CEO of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. “Louisiana seafood is part of our identity and culture. The LASCO event allows our amazing culinary talent to create dishes that anyone would be proud to enjoy, and that draw people into our state to know why we’re so different.”

Confirmed judges for the 2022 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off include Chef Edgar “Dooky” Chase IV and Celeste Chachere.

Chef Edgar “Dooky” Chase, IV, is considered the scion of the influential Dooky Chase Restaurant family. A rising star in the restaurant industry, Edgar is the chef and owner of Dook’s Place in the Treme neighborhood in downtown New Orleans. He has served as executive chef at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, as well as proprietor of Leah’s Kitchen and Dook’s Burders, and a partner in a number of other restaurants located in the New Orleans International Airport. He holds a Masters of Business Administration, and a formal Culinary degree from Le Condon Bleu in Paris, France. Additionally, he received his undergraduate degree in Economics and Finance from Dillard University in 2004.

Celeste Chachere is the great-granddaughter of the “Ole Master” of Creole cooking Tony Chachere. She is also the Director of Marketing and Development for Tony Chachere’s Creole Foods, which began in 1972 and celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. What started as dream to write a cookbook, including the recipe for his seasoning blend, has grown into a worldwide brand. Just about every home in the south has a red and green can of Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning in the pantry. Today, Tony Chachere’s produces a full range of Creole cuisine from dinner mixes to seasonings and injectable marinades. Celeste has her hands full carrying on the rich tradition of bringing big ideas and dreams to life, much like her great-grandfather did 50 years ago.

For the fifth year, the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off is being held in Lafayette, the city said to have more restaurants per capita than any other American city. Many of the restaurants that have helped earn that distinction will be serving samples to spectators as a part of the Taste of EatLafayette, which will take place in conjunction with the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off.

In addition to earning the title of King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood, the winner will represent the state at a variety of events including the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, hosted by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and held in New Orleans during the Louisiana Restaurant Association Showcase on Saturday, August 6, 2022.

Follow @LaSeafoodBoard on Instagram and Twitter and keep up will all Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off (LASCO) events via the official hashtag, #LASCO22.

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