The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board announced Wednesday what chefs were selected to compete in the 16th Annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off (LASCO!) Twelve chefs will go head to head in this fierce competition from cities across the Bayou State.

Even more exciting is the fact that three of the chefs are from Lake Charles and represent local restaurants. The reigning "Queen of Louisiana Seafood Chef Amanda Cusey" is a Lake Charles native. Can another chef from the Lake City walk away with the win this year? We shall see!

For the first time, this exciting event will take place in Lake Charles, at the Golden Nugget Casino Tuesday, June 27, 2023! The chefs selected to compete in the 2023 cook-off include:

1.) Executive Chef Stephen Coblentz - Charthouse - Lake Charles
2.) Executive Chef Greg Gizzaffi - Landry’s Seafood House - Lake Charles
3.) Chef Dustin Frederick - Restaurant Calla - Lake Charles
4.) Executive Chef Ashley Allen - Coconuts Bar, and Grill - Vidalia
5.) Executive Chef/Owner Ben Fidelak - Mariner’s Restaurant - Natchitoches
6.) Chef Owen Hohl - Hot Tails - New Roads & Prairieville
7.) Executive Chef Blake Jackson - Whisk Dessert Bar - Shreveport
8.) Chef Brett Monteleone - The Overpass Merchant - Baton Rouge
9.) Executive Chef Chris Motto - Jubans - Baton Rouge
10.) Executive Chef Chad Phares - Hurricane Hole - Grand Isle
11.) Chef Amy Sins - Langlois - New Orleans
12.) Executive Chef Christopher Vazquez - Redfish Grill - New Orleans

Also competing for the first time in the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off are chefs representing Grand Isle and Vidalia Louisiana! All twelve chefs will battle it out against 10 other chefs for the title of King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood. Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser said of the big event,

"Every year it gets tougher to choose just 12 chefs from all the outstanding applications we receive. That shows the incredible level of culinary talent we have in Louisiana. Our food connects us to our heritage, and Louisiana seafood is a huge part of that connection.

The majority of the chefs competing through the years learned to cook in their parent’s kitchens. It’s no different with this year’s chefs.” He also said. “I’m not only looking forward to seeing the amazing culinary creations our chefs serve the judges, but I’m excited to hold this competition in Lake Charles for the first time, the home of our reigning Queen of Louisiana Seafood Chef Amanda Cusey.”

To be eligible to compete, a chef must be the executive chef of a free-standing Louisiana restaurant belonging to the Louisiana Restaurant Association, a proud partner of both the Louisiana and Great American Seafood Cook-Offs.

In addition to earning the title of King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood, the winner will represent the state at a variety of 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 5, 2023.

In conjunction with the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off, Visit Lake Charles is hosting a Chuck Tastes Restaurant Night. This is a chance to sample 20 dishes from southwest Louisiana restaurants while you watch 12 of the best seafood chefs in the state battle for the crown and a year's worth of bragging rights.

Admission to Chuck Tastes Restaurant Night is $50 and includes the 2023 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off. Purchase tickets now through the Golden Nugget Lake Charles website. All proceeds from ticket sales will support the Culinary, Gaming, and Hospitality program at SOWELA Technical Community College in Lake Charles. Believe it or not, this is the only program like this in the state.

Sponsors for the 2023 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off include the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, Visit Lake Charles, Louisiana Restaurant Association, and the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. Keep up with all things Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off (LASCO) on Twitter XLASCO. Follow @LaSeafoodBoard on Instagram and Twitter events via the official hashtag, #LASCO23.

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