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Lake Charles chef crowned "Queen of Louisiana Seafood"

Posted at 9:33 AM, Jun 08, 2022

Chef Amanda Cusey of The Villa Harlequin in Lake Charles became the second ever Queen of Louisiana Seafood in Lafayette Tuesday night, besting 11 other chefs to win the 15th Annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off.

The cook-off is presented by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board. For the fifth year, the event was held at the Cajundome Convention Center in conjunction with "A Taste of EatLafayette."

To win the crown, Chef Cusey prepared a pan-seared red drum over a tomato polenta with a crawfish cream sauce, which organizers say showcased her creativity and highlighting the superior quality of the seafood that comes from Louisiana’s shorelines and vast waterways.

“I was blown away. I was surprised because I did not think I was going to win. I thought I might get into the top two or three, but I was not expecting number one,” said Chef Amanda Cusey, 2022 Queen of Louisiana Seafood.

“We’re here for the fifth year in Lafayette, partnering with Lafayette Travel and their Eat Lafayette promotion for the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off to crown the King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Chefs from all over Louisiana competed with the winner representing Louisiana in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans this August. Additionally, the winner will represent Louisiana all over the world promoting the great seafood caught off the shores of our state. This event is a great opportunity to promote great Louisiana fresh seafood and partner with local restaurants. It was definitely a great event in Lafayette tonight.”

The first duty for the 2022 King/Queen of Louisiana Seafood is to prepare to represent the state in the 18th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans on Saturday, August 6.

Closely behind Chef Cusey in second place was Chef Amy Sins of Langlois in New Orleans. And, coming in third place was Chef David Dickensauge of Tsunami in Baton Rouge.

Each dish was scrutinized by some of Louisiana's most seasoned chefs and food lovers including Chef Edgar “Dook” Chase IV, chef/owner of Dook’s Place and part of the Dooky Chase Restaurant family; Celeste Chachere, great-granddaughter of Tony Chachere and Director of Marketing and Development for Tony Chachere’s Creole Foods; Chef Cody Carroll, former King of Louisiana Seafood and chef/owner of Hot Tails in New Roads and Prairieville; and, Chef Nealy Frentz, former winner of the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off with her husband Keith and chef/owner of LOLA Restaurant in Covington.

The competitors for the 2022 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off were:

  • Ryan Cashio; Cajun House & Catering, LLC; Laplace
  • Amanda Cusey; The Villa Harlequin; Lake Charles
  • Russell Davis; Eliza Restaurant & Bar and JED’S Local Louisiana Po’boys; Baton Rouge
  • David Dickensauge; Tsunami; Baton Rouge
  • Ben Fidelak; Mariner’s Restaurant; Natchitoches
  • Ryan Gaudet; Spahr’s Seafood; Des Allemands
  • Kyle Hudson; Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine; Baton Rouge
  • Karlos Knott; Bayou Teche Brewing & Cajun Saucer; Arnaudville
  • Brett Monteleone; Junior’s on Harrison; New Orleans
  • Amy Sins; Langlois; New Orleans
  • Joshua Spell; Fezzo’s Seafood Steakhouse & Oyster Bar; Crowley
  • Devan Giddix; Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House; New Orleans

Those inspired by the chefs’ culinary creativity and looking to bring the state’s best seafood dishes to their own kitchen can visit for recipes of each competing dish. To keep up with Louisiana Seafood throughout the year, follow @LaSeafoodBoard on Instagram and Twitter and at