Chef Peter Duenas of Meskla Chamoru Fusion Bistro in Hagåtña will face off against 15 other chefs from around the country next month in "the nation's ultimate seafood cooking competition."
The 2019 Great American Seafood Cook-Off will be held Aug. 3 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, according to a joint announcement from the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.
The 16th annual event gets underway with opening ceremonies as 16 chefs, each representing their home state or territory, cook in front of a live audience and a panel of nationally acclaimed judges.
"The Great American Seafood Cook-Off is the perfect stage to celebrate Louisiana and America's domestic seafood industry – the best in the world," Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser stated. "This year there will be a very talented field of chefs from all over the country vying to be crowned the next 'King or Queen of American Seafood' right here in New Orleans. Each chef will be showcasing their skills with domestic seafood to present the best seafood dishes."
Duenas' inclusion marks the first time a U.S. territory will be represented in the event, according to the release.
The 2019 Great American Seafood Cook-Off competitors are:
• Chef Ramon Jacobsen; Odette; Florence, Alabama
• Chef Adam Marcum; Rustic Goat; Anchorage, Alaska
• Chef Michelle Minori; San Francisco, California
• Chef Jorel Pierce; Tag Restaurant; Denver, Colorado
• Chef Louis Scaramuzzi; Salt Rock Grill; Indian Shores, Florida
• Chef Gary Mennie; il Giallo Osteria & Bar; Sandy Springs, Georgia
• Chef Peter Duenas; Meskla Chamoru Fusion Bistro; Hagåtña, Guam
• Chef Nathan Richard; Cavan Restaurant & Bar; New Orleans, Louisiana
• Chef Paul Turano; Cook Newton; Newton, Massachusetts
• Chef Hunter Evans; Lou's Full-Serv; Jackson, Mississippi
• Chef T.J. Steele; Claro BK; Brooklyn, New York
• Chef Jackie Paige-Heidelberg; Love Rocks Café; McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
• Chef Danny Smith; Frank's Outback; Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
• Chef Christa Hare; Matilda Midnight; Chattanooga, Tennessee
• Chef Jesse Cavazos; Nick's Fish Dive & Oyster Bar; The Woodlands, Texas
• Chef Zoi Antonitsas; Seattle, Washington
About the competition
During the competition, each chef will prepare a dish highlighting the use of domestic seafood while interacting with the live audience and the celebrity chef hosts.
Each dish will be presented to a panel of nationally renowned judges who will score based on presentation, creativity, composition, craftsmanship and flavor. The Great American Seafood Cook-Off promotes the quality and variety of domestic seafood found in the United States.
To be eligible to compete in the event, chefs must either hold the current title of king or queen of American seafood or be appointed by the lieutenant governor of their respective state or territory. Last year's king of American seafood, Louisiana's chef Ryan Trahan of the Blue Dog Café, won the title with his dish of "Cracklin-crusted" Red Snapper with pickled crawfish tails, buttermilk chili consommé, spring vegetables, burnt leek oil, fermented cream and bowfin caviar, beating out 11 of the nation's best chefs.
The event is held in conjunction with the Louisiana Restaurant Association Foodservice Expo.
For more information on the competition, visit www.louisianaseafood.com/great-american-seafood-cook.