Release Date: 06/03/2008

Saturday's premiere of the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans, presented by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB), was a seafood lover's dream.  Twelve of the state's most talented chefs designed culinary delights featuring the main ingredient, Louisiana seafood. 

After the judges' scores were tallied, Chef Brian Landry assisted by Chef Heather Young of Galatoire's in New Orleans and Baton Rouge were the winning team with their Saut? Cobia with Louisiana Crab Butter.  Second place was Chef Phil O'Donnell of O' Donnell's Restaurant in Ponchatoula with his Mojo Gulf Shrimp and Panko Crusted Louisiana Crab Cake.  Third place was Chef Brian Smith assisted by Chef Eric Mark of Randol's Restaurant in Lafayette with their Kocho Crusted Louisiana Gulf Grouper.

"I took a very simple approach," said Landry.  "When you get access to great seafood like we do, you don't have to do much to make it delicious."

Other participating chefs were Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery in New Orleans, Paul Gibson of Bonnie Bell's Bistro in Lafayette, Ernest Prejean of Prejean's in Lafayette, Jorg Limper of L'Auberge du Lac in Lake Charles, Duke LoCicero of Caf?iovanni in New Orleans, Tory McPhail of Commander's Palace in New Orleans, Fred Nonato of Tsunami Restaurant in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Scott Varnedoe of Varnedoe's at the Myrtles in St. Francisville and William Wells of Culinary Productions in Baton Rouge. 
"Saturday's competition showcased Louisiana seafood and Louisiana's talented chefs," said Ewell Smith, executive director of LSPMB.  "A competition with the quality of product and level of talent that we had is only available in Louisiana."

When the doors to the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience's Grand Tasting opened at 1 p.m., Mistress of Ceremonies Lorin Gaudin, food goddess and food radio host on 99.5FM WRNO, gave spectators the play by play of the cooking competition.

The first chef started cooking at noon and each chef had up to one hour to prepare, plate and present their dishes to the judges.  This year's judges' were Chef Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen's in New Orleans, Chef Tenney Flynn of GW Fins in New Orleans and Charlotte, N.C., Elizabeth Blanc, freelance writer specializing in food and wine, Mark A. Newman, editor in chief of Southern Breeze magazine and Hope S. Philbrick freelance writer specializing in travel, food, wine and spirits. 

Landry will represent Louisiana at the LSMPB's fifth annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off (GASCO), which will be held on Aug. 2-3 at the Louisiana Foodservice EXPO in the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.  GASCO is the nation's most prestigious seafood completion showcasing domestic, sustainable seafood and features premiere chefs from across the nation.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is a primary sponsor for the two-day event.

Sponsors for the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off included the Louisiana Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the Louisiana Restaurant Association, NOAA and FishWatch, Shell, Culinary Concierge and New Orleans Magazine.
For more information about the chefs who participated in the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off and their recipes, visit  For more information about the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, visit

The LSPMB was created in 1984 by the state of Louisiana to support their vast historical commercial fisheries industry.  The board is composed of 15 members and each member represents a sector of the industry: harvesters, processors, wholesalers, restaurateurs/retailers, fisheries resource managers, public health officers and marketing specialists.

The board's operating budget is derived from license sales to Louisiana commercial fishermen and seafood wholesalers/retailers as well as state and federal grants. The Board represents over 12,000 fishermen while promoting and marketing $2.6 billion of retail seafood sales annually to the consumer.

For more information, contact Ashley Roth at 228-342-0659 or