Chef registration open for the Annual Alabama Seafood Cook-Off

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Posted 4/14/21

Alabama Gulf Seafood announced that chef registration for participation in its rescheduled sixth Annual Alabama Seafood Cook-Off (ASCO) — set …

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Chef registration open for the Annual Alabama Seafood Cook-Off

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Alabama Gulf Seafood announced that chef registration for participation in its rescheduled sixth Annual Alabama Seafood Cook-Off (ASCO) — set for                         Monday, June 21 at The Lodge at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores — is now open. All interested chef teams can visit EatAlabamaSeafood.com for registration forms and additional competition information. Originally scheduled for 2020, the sixth annual ASCO was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited to bring back this event this year after a challenging 2020 resulted in its cancellation for     obvious safety precautions,” said chef Jim Smith, chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission and 2011 winner of both the Alabama Seafood Cook-Off and GASCO. “I urge all Alabama  chefs to help us make this our best year yet in honor of lost time celebrating an event that has become a highlight of the state’s culinary calendar.”

This year’s Cook-Off signals the first year the event will be held both independently and at The Lodge  at Gulf State Park. A unique location situated along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the venue’s beachfront views, open terrace and spacious, indoor ballroom, will provide a stunning and cuisine-appropriate backdrop for the competition.

Interested chefs can download contest registration forms at EatAlabamaSeafood.com. Completed forms and a recipe integrating Alabama Gulf Seafood as the featured ingredient must be submitted to Chandler Thornton at chandler@bigcom.com by Wednesday, May 12. Finalists will be selected no later  than Thursday, May 20 to compete at the June 21 event.

At the June competition, scoring for chef teams (one lead chef plus one assistant) will be judged based         on presentation, general impression and serving methods; creativity; composition and harmony of ingredients; correct preparation and craftsmanship; and flavor, taste and texture.

The winner of the June ASCO event will go on to represent the state of Alabama in the 17th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off (GASCO), which will take place in in New Orleans, Louisiana, in  August.

“This year’s Cook-Off won’t just be a competition — it will be a true event that locals and visitors won’t want to miss,” said Chris Blankenship, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and program administrator of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. “This is                historically an evening celebrating the best of Alabama cuisine from some of the best chefs in the state, and we welcome all interested participants to enter for their chance to battle for this coveted title in June.”

About the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission

Established by executive order in March 2011, the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission (ASMC) was created to help provide advice, oversight, management and encouragement to the marketing of Alabama seafood. Led by Chris Blankenship, commissioner of the Alabama Department of

Conservation and Natural Resources, the ASMC is comprised of volunteer members appointed by the Governor that includes fishermen, processors, charter boat operators, retailers, restaurant owners and others directly and indirectly related to the Alabama seafood industry.