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Mississippi seafood cookoff to be held Thursday

Twelve of the top chefs from across the state will compete Thursday, May 25, to be the king of Mississippi seafood.

The eighth annual MS Seafood Cookoff will be held from 6-9:30 p.m. at CLIMB CDC, 1316 30th Ave. in Gulfport. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Each chef will present a signature dish featuring fresh, sustainable Mississippi Gulf seafood to a select group of judges. The winning chef will represent Mississippi in the Great American Seafood Cookoff in New Orleans and at the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Ala., in November.

The 2016 winner of the state competition, Alex Eaton of The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen in Jackson, also won the national competition in New Orleans.

“The Mississippi Seafood Cookoff brings together some of the most talented chefs across the state,” said Jamie M. Miller, executive director of the Department of Marine Resources. “This annual event also gives us a chance to tell people why they should use wild-caught Gulf seafood, which is important to our economy and our culture.”

Tickets are $25 each and two for $40. They can be purchased by going to the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mississippi-seafood-cook-off-2017-tickets-33283415592.

Those who attend will get to watch the chefs prepare their dishes and will enjoy food from local restaurants, including Half Shell Oyster House; Bacchus on the Beach, Pass Christian; Petie’s Eats; The Chimneys; Captain Hooks Seafood; Island View Casino and Quality Seafood. Dishes include boiled shrimp, oysters, marinated crab claws, crab au gratin, seafood pasta, shrimp-stuffed potatoes, crabmeat bisque, seafood gumbo, as well as dessert.

Drinks will be provided by Mitchell Distributing, Chandeleur Brewing Company and Cathead Vodka. All food and drinks are included in the price of the tickets.

David Crews, owner of Crews Culinary Investments, planned the event and said he believes those who attend will enjoy watching the chefs prepare their dishes.

“These are some of the best chefs in the state, and they are committed to using wild-caught Gulf seafood,” Crews said. “The people who come to the cookoff will be able to watch them at work while enjoying some of the most delicious seafood in the Gulf.”

This year’s chefs are:

Billy Cresswell, Scarlet Pearl Casino, D’Iberville

David Dickensauge, Corks & Cleaver, Gulfport

Cole Ellis, Delta Meat Market, Cleveland

John Fitzgerald, Restaurant Tyler, Starkville

Michael Greenhill, Walker’s Drive In, Jackson

Matthew Kajdan, Estelle Wine Bar and Bistro, Jackson

Louis LaRose, Lou’s Full-Serv, Jackson

Jean-Paul Lavallee, Oak Crest Mansion, Pass Christian

David Leathers, Forklift, Tupelo

Mitchell McCamey, Kermits Outlaw Kitchen, Tupelo

Nick Reppond, Grit, Tupelo

Robert Tushton, Local463, Madison

This year’s judges are: Chef Vishwesh Bhatt, Oxford; Chef Jim Smith, Montgomery, Ala.; Chef Alex Eaton, Jackson; Chef Alexei Harrison, Jackson; Jeff Clark, Biloxi.

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