Chefs Brandon Burleson (Voyagers Restaurant, Orange Beach), Miguel Figueroa (A&P Social, Montgomery), Brody Olive (Spectrum Resorts, Gulf Shores/Orange Beach) and George Reis (Ocean, Birmingham) will compete for the state’s coveted top spot. The champion, in addition to receiving statewide acclaim for his accomplishment, will go on to represent Alabama in the 12th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off (GASCO) later this year.
“It was a tough selection process, as we received amazing recipes from lauded chefs across the state,” said Chef Jim Smith, executive chef for the State of Alabama, current chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission (ASMC), and winner of the 2011 GASCO competition. “We look forward to seeing what these four gentlemen bring to the table next week and crowning our very first Alabama Seafood Cook-Off champion.”
Judges added to the May 1 event include David Holloway (Food & Wine Editor, AL.com), Susan Benton (30Aeats.com/Top 100 Gulf Seafood Blogger) and Brigette Scott (News Director, Summit Media). They will join Chef Smith, Chris Blankenship (program administrator for the ASMC and director of Alabama Marine Resources) and Chef David Bancroft (2014 GASCO Alabama representative/Acre Restaurant, Auburn) in selecting the state winner. Food Network star Martie Duncan will serve as event emcee.
Competition scoring for chef teams (one lead chef plus one assistant) will be judged based on Presentation, General Impression, and Serving Methods; Creativity and Practicality; Composition and Harmony of Ingredients; Correct Preparation and Craftsmanship; and Flavor, Taste, and Texture.