4-H student wins rice cook-off with shrimp dish

Bruce Schultz  |  9/21/2016 9:12:47 PM

(09/21/16) LAKE CHARLES, La. – Sixteen 4-H Club students from Calcasieu, Cameron and Beauregard parishes competed in the 19th annual Calcasieu-Cameron Rice Growers Rice Cook-off Sept. 20.

When the judges made their choices, Kierra Welker, of S.J. Welsh Middle School in Lake Charles, was awarded first place with her shrimp and rice patties covered with shrimp étouffée.

Second place went to Rachel McVey of Iowa High School for her crawfish dressing, while Makayla Hodge of South Beauregard High took third for a seafood casserole.

Welker said she came up with her winning recipe on her own. When she’s not in the kitchen cooking, she’s watching cooking competitions on television. “I love to cook,” she said.

The Port of Lake Charles joined the Calcasieu-Cameron Rice Growers Association to sponsor the event.

Other students in the competition were Destiny Butler of R.D. Molo Middle School, Gage DuPlant of Vinton High, Evie Talbot of Moss Bluff Middle School, Haley Eder of Sam Houston High, Kinslee Bertrand of Sulphur High, Daelynn Flagg of Washington-Marion High, Chase McConnell of Westlake High, Brock Nichols of Sulphur High, Karagan Howard of Iowa Middle School, Garett Vedder of Grand Lake High, Trent Floyd of Barbe High, Cameron Buxton of DeQuincy High, and Tamara Shields of Starks High.

All the students had won 4-H Club cooking competitions at their schools before entering the regional cook-off.

Judges were Phillip Bertrand, of Farmers Rice Mill; Dondia Rodriguez, nutrition educator with the LSU AgCenter; and Daniel Loughney, of the Port of Lake Charles.

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Kierra Welker of S.J. Welsh Middle School of Lake Charles won first place at the Calcasieu-Cameron Rice Growers rice cooking contest. Welker was among 16 4-H Club contestants in the event held Sept. 20. Adam Habetz, left, is president of the Calcasieu-Cameron Rice Growers Association. Photo by Bruce Schultz

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Judges Daniel Loughney, of the Port of Lake Charles, Phillip Bertrand, of Farmers Rice Mill, and Dondia Rodriguez, of the LSU AgCenter, taste an entry in the Calcasieu-Cameron Rice Growers Association’s 19th Annual Rice Cook-off. Photo by Bruce Schultz

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