New Orleans chefs among a dozen statewide qualify for seafood cuisine | Where NOLA eats

Three New Orleans chefs — Brett Monteleone, Amy Sins and Grant Wallace — are up for seafood royalty.

The trio and nine other state chefs will face off at the 15th annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-off on Tuesday, June 7 at the Cajundome Convention Center in Lafayette. The winner will be crowned Louisiana Seafood King or Queen.

Monteleone, of Junior’s on Harrison, and Wallace, of Dickie Brennan’s, are first-time competitors, while Sins, of Langlois, has competed in 2016, 2019 and 2020.

“With so many chefs in Louisiana to choose from, it was hard to narrow it down to just 12 competitors. There is no doubt that judging dishes this year will be more difficult than ever before,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “In Louisiana, good food is only 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.”

The others in the running for the title will be:

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  • Ryan Cashio, Cajun House & Catering, LaPlace (first-time competitor)
  • Russell Davis, Eliza Restaurant & Bar and JED’S Local Louisiana Po-boys, Baton Rouge (first time competitor)
  • Kyle Hudson, of Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine, Baton Rouge (first-time competitor)
  • David Dickensauge, Tsunami, Baton Rouge (compete in 2014 and 2015)
  • Amanda Cusey, The Villa Harlequin, Lake Charles (first-time competitor)
  • Ben Fidelak, Mariner’s Restaurant, Natchitoches (competed in 2017, 2020)
  • Ryan Gaudet, Spahr’s Seafood, Des Allemands (competition in 2015, 2016)
  • Karlos Knott, Bayou Teche Brewing & Cajun Saucer, Arnaudville (first-time competitor)
  • Joshua Spell, Fezzo’s Seafood Steakhouse & Oyster Bar, Crowley (first competitor)

Judges for the competition will include Chef Edgar “Dooky” Chase IV and Celeste Chachere.

Chase is the scion of the Dooky Chase Restaurant family in Treme and was Executive Chef at Dooky Chase Restaurant.

Chachere is the great-granddaughter of the “Ole Master” of Creole cuisine Tony Chachere. She is also Director of Marketing and Development for Tony Chachere’s Creole Foods, which started in 1972 and celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

To be eligible for the cook-off, one must be the executive chef of an independent Louisiana restaurant belonging to the Louisiana Restaurant Association, a partner of both Louisiana and Great American Seafood Cook-Offs.

The winner will represent the state at various 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.

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