Release Date: 07/29/2008

Louisiana is world famous for its cuisine and top notch chefs who are no stranger to bold flavors and creative cuisine.  While some great chefs are born with talent, many of them come to Louisiana to learn at one of the state's respected culinary schools.  On Aug. 4, the public is invited to watch these rising stars compete using Louisiana alligator as the main ingredient.

Held at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, the Second Annual Louisiana Alligator Soir?will feature teams from the culinary programs of Delgado Community College, New Orleans; Louisiana Culinary Institute, Baton Rouge; SOWELA Technical Community College, Lake Charles; Louisiana Technical College, Jefferson Campus; and junior members from the New Orleans Chapter of the American Culinary Federation. 

Beginning at 10 a.m., these junior chefs will use several mystery ingredients and lean alligator meat to prepare creative cuisine that is sure to wow the judges.

Giving spectators the play by play of this food affair will be Louisiana's own Chef John Folse.  Folse is a chef, restaurateur and author of eight cookbooks.  Joining Folse on stage will be co-master of ceremonies and 2006 Great American Seafood Cook-Off winner, Chef Justin Timineri, of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

From fried to saut?, alligator has been on Louisiana menus for quite some time.  In recent years, its popularity has risen thanks to its versatility and tastiness.  One recent report prepared for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries showed that retail sales of Louisiana alligator meat and hides grossed more than $52 million in 2006. 

"The Louisiana Alligator Soir?is another great event for Louisiana and this time we are giving the future great chefs of our state a chance to take the stage using an ingredient that consumers are often curious about how to prepare," said Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.  "Not only is this type of competition unique, but it is also going to be fun to watch."

Following on the heels of the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, the Louisiana Alligator Soir?is open to members of the public over the age of 18.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.  For more information about the Louisiana Alligator Soir? the Great American Seafood Cook-Off or alligator suppliers and recipes, visit www.LousisianaSeafood.com.

For more information, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-8735 or ashley@louisianaseafood.com.