South Carolina takes first place at 4-H seafood cook-off

Johnny Morgan  |  8/8/2018 3:47:55 PM

(08/08/18) NEW ORLEANS — The competition was steep with seven teams competing at this year’s Great American Seafood Cook-Off: 4-H Edition at the Morial Convention Center on Aug. 5.

The teams competing this year included 4-H members from Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, which had two teams.

The South Carolina team — Ginger Wertz, Allie Trotter, Laken Fulmer and Lindsey Scott — pulled away from the pack with their blue crab cakes.

When asked what it took to win the competition, Scott didn’t hesitate to express the feeling of the group.

“It feels amazing. We have put so much work into our recipe, and we’ve practiced all summer,” she said. “We’ve worked with chefs to help us, and we then each put our own spin on it.”

Other teams in the competition included the third-place team from Tom Green County, Texas, with their sweet corn tamale cakes.

The Jim Wells County, Texas, team placed second with their corn salsa and grilled shrimp.

The Mississippi team prepared a redfish milanese. Georgia prepared a coastal Cajun chowder. The Tennessee team prepared Tennessee-style shrimp and grits, and Louisiana prepared Cajun blackened shrimp tacos.

LSU AgCenter agent Quincy Vidrine, who coordinated the event, said this was the largest group of competitors to date.

“This year was the eighth year for the competition, and we had a record seven teams this year,” she said.

Each state has a different process for qualifying their 4-H teams for the competition. In Louisiana, the teams compete during 4-H University in June.

Patrick Tuck, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation, said the event is a great way for young people from different areas to get to know each other.

“Anytime we can cross borders with competition is a good thing, and what better place to do a seafood cook-off than Louisiana,” he said.

AgCenter 4-H program leader Toby Lepley said the competition is a great opportunity for young people to be innovative and creative.

“This shows what they’ve learned in the 4-H program and in the food and nutrition project, and they can develop those skills to an even higher level,” he said.

Vidrine said the purpose for the cook-off is to promote domestic seafood in the state.

“It is also a way to get people to cook seafood in a more healthful way,” she said. “The criteria require that no dish can be over 750 calories per serving, so that eliminates deep-fat frying and promotes healthier cooking methods.”

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First-place winners at the 2018 Great American Seafood Cook-Off: 4-H Edition at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center on Aug. 5 were from Saluda County in South Carolina. Pictured are Patrick Tuck, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation, Ginger Wertz, Allie Trotter, Laken Fulmer and Lindsey Scott. Also pictured are LSU AgCenter agents Quincy Vidrine and Robin Landry. Photo by Johnny Morgan/ LSU AgCenter

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The winning dish at the 2018 Great American Seafood Cook-Off: 4-H Edition at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center — South Carolina blue crab cakes — was prepared by Ginger Wertz, Allie Trotter, Laken Fulmer and Lindsey Scott, all from Saluda County, South Carolina The event was held on Aug. 5. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

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Teen 4-H chefs from Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia competed in the 2018 Great American Seafood Cook-Off: 4-H Edition at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center on Aug. 5. Teams from Jim Wells County, Texas, placed third; Tom Green County, Texas, second; and South Carolina, first. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

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