Twelve chefs will compete for king or queen of Louisiana seafood in the state’s 15th annual Seafood Cook-Off in June, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board announced Wednesday at a news conference.
The cook-off will take place June 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cajundome Convention Center. This is the fifth year the event is being held in Lafayette.
“The winner of the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off plays a very important role in educating people from around the world on the flavor and sustainability of Louisiana seafood, which is a core piece of our culture, from fine dining to backyard boils,” Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser said in a press release.
Chef Joshua Spell was chosen to represent the Crowley area.
Chef Spell was born and raised in Crowley, Louisiana. At the age of 14, Joshua began his work in the restaurant industry at Chef Roy’s in Crowley. In 1999, he started as Head Chef for Fezzo’s Seafood, Steakhouse & Oyster Bar.
Over the last 23 years, Joshua has helped Fezzo’s grow into a multi-location operation, and recently took over the role of General Manager for the Crowley location. Joshua is a member of the American Culinary Federation, Louisiana Restaurant Association, and General Chairman of The International Rice Festival.
Joshua’s future plans include helping open a new Fezzo’s Crowley location and serving his community for years to come. He is a current participant in the 2022 Leadership EXCEL program, which is a joint program between the Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce and the Jeff Davis Parish Chamber of Commerce. This program lays the groundwork for a well-rounded understanding of the community, sparks community involvement, and exposes participants to a variety of community leaders, new opportunities, and leadership skills.
“With so many chefs in Louisiana to choose from, it was hard to narrow it down to just 12 competitors. There is no doubt judging dishes this year will be more difficult than ever before,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “In Louisiana, good food is just part of what connects us to our diverse heritage and seafood is a big part of that. From recipes passed down through generations to the culinary creations of our state’s chefs, seafood has developed a culinary identity for Louisiana unlike any other state. That’s the main reason for events like the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off. It’s a chance to celebrate the great contribution of our chefs, and our hard-working seafood industry, make in Louisiana that truly Feed Your Soul.”
Among the 12 chefs are eight first-time competitors vying to take the crown of King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood.
- Ryan Cashio; Cajun House & Catering, LLC; Laplace (First-time Competitor)
- Amanda Cusey; The Villa Harlequin; Lake Charles (First-time Competitor)
- Russell Davis; Eliza Restaurant & Bar and JED’S Local Louisiana Po’boys; Baton Rouge (First-time Competitor)
- David Dickensauge; Tsunami; Baton Rouge (Competed in 2014, 2015)
- Ben Fidelak; Mariner’s Restaurant; Natchitoches (Competed in 2017, 2020)
- Ryan Gaudet; Spahr’s Seafood; Des Allemands (Competed in 2015, 2016)
- Kyle Hudson; Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine; Baton Rouge (First-time Competitor)
- Karlos Knott; Bayou Teche Brewing & Cajun Saucer; Arnaudville (First-time Competitor)
- Brett Monteleone; Junior’s on Harrison; New Orleans (First-time Competitor)
- Amy Sins; Langlois; New Orleans (Competed in 2016, 2019, 2020)
- Joshua Spell; Fezzo’s Seafood Steakhouse & Oyster Bar; Crowley (First-time Competitor)
- Grant Wallace; Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse; New Orleans (First-time Competitor)
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.
Confirmed judges for the 2022 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off include Chef Edgar “Dooky” Chase IV and Celeste Chachere.
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 6, 2022.