A dozen of the best chefs in Mississippi are entered in the eighth annual Mississippi Seafood Cookoff on Thursday, and each will do battle to become the king of Mississippi seafood.
Those who attend the cookoff at Climb CDC, 1316 30th Ave. in Gulfport, will be able to watch chefs prepare their dishes using fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the cookoff is 6-9:30 p.m.
The winning chef will represent Mississippi in the Great American Seafood Cookoff in New Orleans and at the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Alabama, in November. Last year’s state winner, Alex Eaton of The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen in Jackson, also won the national competition in New Orleans.
This year’s chefs:
▪ Billy Cresswell, Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville
▪ David Dickensauge, Corks & Cleaver, Gulfport
▪ Cole Ellis, Delta Meat Market, Cleveland
▪ John Fitzgerald, Restaurant Tyler, Starkville
▪ Michael Greenhill, Walker’s Drive In, Jackson
▪ Matthew Kajdan, Estelle Wine Bar and Bistro, Jackson
▪ Louis LaRose, Lou’s Full-Serv, Jackson
▪ Jean-Paul Lavallee, Oak Crest Mansion, Pass Christian
▪ David Leathers, Forklift, Tupelo
▪ Mitchell McCamey, Kermits Outlaw Kitchen, Tupelo
▪ Nick Reppond, Grit, Tupelo
▪ Robert Tushton, Local 463, Madison
Chef Eaton will return as one of the judges this year, along with:
▪ Chef Alexei Harrison, instructor at Culinary Arts Institute in Jackson
▪ Sun Herald’s own features and staff writer Jeff Clark of Pass Christian
As the aromas fill the room, those who attend will sample Gulf seafood dishes from local restaurants Half Shell Oyster House, Bacchus on the Beach, Petie’s Eats, The Chimneys, Captain Hooks Seafood, Island View Casino and Quality Seafood.
Dishes will include boiled shrimp, oysters, marinated crab claws, crab au gratin, seafood pasta, shrimp-stuffed potatoes, crabmeat bisque, seafood gumbo and dessert. Drinks will be provided by Mitchell Distributing, Chandeleur Brewing Co. and Cathead Vodka. All food and drinks are included in the price of the tickets, $25 each or two for $40.
“These are some of the best chefs in the state, and they are committed to using wild-caught Gulf seafood,” said David Crews, owner of Crews Culinary Investments, who planned the event.