Louisiana team places second in national 4-H seafood cook-off

Richard Bogren, Cheek, Quincy L.  |  8/13/2015 10:00:08 PM

The Ascension Parish team of Eden Schexnayder, Jared Barrilleaux, Kassie deVeer and Hannah Barrilleaux captured second place in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, 4-H Edition on Aug. 9 in New Orleans. (Photo by Rick Bogren)

Kassie deVeer and Jared Barrilleaux, members of the Ascension Parish 4-H seafood cook-off team, prepare their dish during the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, 4-H Edition on Aug. 9 in New Orleans. (Photo by Rick Bogren)

Eden Schexnayder, a member of the Ascension Parish team, plates their dish during the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, 4-H Edition on Aug. 9 in New Orleans. (Photo by Rick Bogren)

News Release Distributed 08/12/15

NEW ORLEANS, La. – A team of young chefs from Ascension Parish earned second place in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, 4-H Edition on Aug. 9.

The Louisiana 4-H team from Ascension Parish presented their creation called Seafood Eggs Benedict, featuring crawfish and crab meat.

A team from Starr County, Texas, won the competition. Third place went to a team from Saluda County, South Carolina. Other participants included 4-H teams from Benton County, Arkansas, and Pearl River County, Mississippi.

During the competition each team was given one hour to prepare their dish using American seafood.

The Louisiana dish included a crawfish cake, topped with lump crab meat, a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.

The Louisiana participants were Eden Schexnayder, Kassie deVeer and brother and sister Jared and Hannah Barrilleaux. The team was coached by Katie deVeer, Kassie’s sister.

“Parents played a huge role,” said Ascension Parish AgCenter 4-H agent Stephanie Gravois.

The 4-H competition is patterned after and conducted in the same venue as the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, which pits professional chefs from across the United States in competition to prepare their best dish using domestic seafood products.

The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board holds the professional event annually in New Orleans through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In keeping with the National 4-H Healthy Living initiative, the rules required each dish to be less than 750 calories per serving, said AgCenter agent Quincy Cheek, who coordinated the program for Louisiana 4-H, the host organization.

In addition to cooking, each team was required to present their plates to the judges and describe the ingredients and the preparation techniques.

Judges for the event were Chef Randy Cheramie, director of the John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University; Chef Jason Huguet, owner of Steamboat Warehouse Restaurant in Washington, Louisiana; and husband-and-wife chefs Cody and Samantha Carroll, owners of Hot Tails Restaurant in New Roads, Louisiana, and Sac Au Lait Restaurant in New Orleans.

The sponsors were the Louisiana 4-H Foundation, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board and the National 4-H Council, Cheek said.

The winning team received a $1,000 cash award from the Louisiana 4-H Foundation, and each team was given $500 by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board to cover expenses of participating in the competition.

Rick Bogren

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