The Louisiana Seafood Board named its 'King of Kings' in the 2021 cook-off held Tuesday night at the Cajundome in Lafayette.
Chef Tory McPhail of Revelry Plates + Pours in Bozeman, Montana, bested several other past champions to take home the title. He was the executive chef at Commander's Palace in New Orleans when he was named the 2009 King of Louisiana Seafood.
The 14th annual event stepped away from its traditional format this year to recognize past winners and to showcase the importance of the event to Louisiana chefs aspiring to be a future King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood.
“What a great way to celebrate the return of all our local chefs and their restaurants after what has been a challenging year for everyone. We couldn’t have asked for a better event with 10 past champions coming back to support Louisiana Seafood and the local restaurants of the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “We are ready for everyone to make their way back to Louisiana, safely, to experience what we already know and love.”
Each chef received a mystery ingredient by random draw that needed to be incorporated into their dish. Chef McPhail's winning dish was a Sheepshead with shrimp and crab, garnished with a shrimp and tasso henica incorporating his mystery ingredient of Bulldog Pepper Jelly Roasted Pecan, flambéed fresh sweet crabmeat with summer corn glazed with fresh whiskey, all on top of a creole sauce.
Second place went to Chef Cody Carroll of Hot Tails in New Orleans; third place went to Chef Chris Lusk of the Kimpton Hotel Fontenot in New Orleans.
Though McPhail won the 'King of Kings' title, 2020 King of Louisiana Seafood Chef Robert Vasquez will represent the state in the 17th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans on August 7.
Last night, a welcome reception was held to kick off the cook-off and where the contestants drew for cooking order. The cook-off is held in conjunction with Taste of EatLafayette.
"It's great to have an event in person, have the Cajundome at capacity with all the great local restaurants and then they have our great chefs, King and Queens of Seafoods of past years competing against each other...to be the king or queen of kings here in Louisiana, it's kind of special," added Nungesser. "It feels great we can fill up the place, support the local restaurants and businesses. This is a great kickoff to open up our doors to the world and welcome tourists back."
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