The Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans is one of the biggest and most prestigious seafood events in the country.
And just like each year, Alabama will be in good hands.
Chef Josh Quick’s hands, to be specific. After his big win at the Alabama Seafood Cook-Off in May, the Executive Chef of Odette in Florence was tabbed to represent our state on an even bigger stage—and against 10 worthy opponents.
For his ASCO-winning dish, Chef Quick took Alabama’s crowned jewel of the sea and put a wonderful spin on it: Berbere Spiced Gulf Red Snapper with Crushed Potatoes and Andouille, Shiitake Mushroom Nage, and Dandelion Green Pesto.
“I wanted to highlight Alabama seafood using some bold flavors,” Quick said. “The Snapper that I chose to use paired well with the Berbere spice blend that I seasoned the fish with.”
The 2016 GASCO takes place this Saturday, August 6, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Chef Quick will go up against chefs from across the country, as far as Alaska and Massachusetts.
One of those chefs will be Chef Chris Sherrill. Given that Sherrill’s restaurant, the Flora-Bama Yacht Club, straddles the state line, he’ll be representing Florida—while still remaining a friend of Alabama, of course.
“I’m excited to have Chef Josh Quick representing Alabama,” said Chris Blankenship, director of Alabama Marine Resources and program administrator for the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. “His dish at the Alabama Seafood Cook-Off was first class and I know he will do well in New Orleans. I’m also excited that Chef Chris Sherrill will be representing Florida. Chris has been a great partner for Alabama Gulf Seafood. It would be so exciting if they finished first and second.”
Chef Quick and his assistant have been preparing all summer to work out timing and presentation for the competition. The recipe will be altered slightly to incorporate more seasonable vegetables and a bit of a different look as well.
As part of Quick’s preparation, he got some advice from a past participant as well.
“I spoke with Chef George Reis, last year’s Alabama representative,” said Quick. “He gave me some pointers to help me have a successful competition.”
If all goes according to plan, Chef Quick would be Alabama’s first GASCO champion since 2011, when Chef Jim Smith took home the crown.
“I was blown away in 2011 at all the talent and creativity on display, and I expect the competition to be just as tough this year,” said Smith, the executive chef of the State of Alabama and chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. “I think Chef Quick puts us in a great position to bring the title back to Alabama.”
Breaking the losing streak would be a big deal to Chef Quick, of course. But it would also be a big win for our state and our seafood industry as well.
“[Winning] would mean so much to me,” said Quick. “We have so many great restaurants in Alabama serving some amazing seafood, and it would be an honor to be recognized at such a prestigious event.”