BATON ROUGE – Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board are set to select the King of Kings at the 2021 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off (LASCO). The 14th annual event is stepping away from the traditional format for a year to recognize past winners, showcasing the importance of the event to Louisiana chefs aspiring to be a future King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood. LASCO: King of Kings will take place at the Cajundome Convention Center in Lafayette on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. It will feature past winners of the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off battling head-to-head to determine the King of Kings.
“This year’s Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off will be a great opportunity for us to recognize our past culinary royalty as they compete for the ultimate title of King of Kings,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “As people begin to travel again, we want to promote our Louisiana chefs and locally-owned restaurants to the visitors we are ready to welcome back to the state. We want to highlight the re-opening of our restaurants and showcase that Louisiana is a place where you can Feed Your Soul. There’s no better way to do just that than by having some of the best chefs throughout the years of the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off cook up some of the best seafood in the world found right here in our state.”
Past winners of the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off competing this year include:
- Brian Landry; 2008 Louisiana King of Seafood
- Tory McPhail; 2009 Louisiana King of Seafood
- Chris Lusk; 2010 Louisiana King of Seafood
- Cory Bahr; 2011 Louisiana King of Seafood
- Keith & Nealy Frentz; 2012 Louisiana King and Queen of Seafood
- Cody Carroll; 2013 Louisiana King of Seafood
- Aaron Burgau; 2014 Louisiana King of Seafood
- Mike Brewer; 2015 Louisiana King of Seafood
- Bonnie Breaux; 2017 Louisiana Queen of Seafood
- Ryan Trahan; 2018 Louisiana King of Seafood
- Nathan Richard; 2019 Louisiana King of Seafood
- Robert Vasquez; 2020 Louisiana King of Seafood
Each past champion will be supplied with a basket of ingredients that must be incorporated into the dish, along with a pantry of additional ingredients that may be used. However, the chefs should not get too comfortable with just the ingredients in their basket. At the 10-minute mark left in his or her cooking time, a “mystery ingredient” will be introduced into the competition for each chef. This “mystery ingredient” must be incorporated into the final dish presented to the judges.
On Monday, June 21, an opening reception will be held for the past champions during which each chef will draw for a spot to determine the cooking order. Additionally, each chef’s “mystery ingredient” will be determined by a random draw that night though the ingredient will not be revealed until they are already cooking.
The winner of the 2021 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off will earn the title King of Kings as we take time to reflect on the many successful years of the event and gear up for an even more successful future. Chef Robert Vasquez, our 2020 King of Louisiana Seafood, will represent the state in the 17th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans on August 7, 2021, in conjunction with the Louisiana Restaurant Association Showcase at the Morial Convention Center.
The 2021 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off: King of Kings will be held in conjunction with the Taste of EatLafayette event for the fourth year, featuring the best of both worlds: a Taste of EatLafayetterestaurants and a world-class cooking competition. The Taste of EatLafayette showcases locally-owned restaurants participating in the annual EatLafayette campaign. The event traditionally serves as the kickoff for the summer campaign driving diners to local eateries.
“After the year we have been through, it is encouraging to be hosting the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off in conjunction with the EatLafayette kickoff in person this year. The collaboration has helped take our popular Taste of EatLafayette event to another level, while providing great exposure for our area, chefs, and restaurants as well as the cook-off and EatLafayette,” said Ben Berthelot, Lafayette Travel President and CEO. “Many previous winning chefs have also been from our area, which further validates holding the event in the heart of Cajun and Creole Country; home to an exceptional food scene. We appreciate Lt. Governor Nungesser’s continued confidence in our area to put on a first-class event, and we encourage everyone to get their tickets early.”
It all gets underway at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22, with the LASCO: King of Kings crowned around 8:00 p.m. For more information and to purchase your ticket to the 20201 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off: King of Kings and the Taste of EatLafayette, visit Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off Tickets or EatLafayette/events. One ticket will get you into both events.
Over the next couple weeks, Louisiana Seafood will release vignettes on Facebook of each past LASCO champion to catch you up on what they have been doing since winning the crown.