BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off, an annual staple in Lafayette for 15 years, is moving.

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion officially announced Lake Charles as the location for the 16th annual Cook-Off on June 27 at the Golden Nugget. This will be the first time for the cook-off in Lake Charles.

“We are excited to bring this great event to Lake Charles, the home of our reigning Queen of Louisiana Seafood chef Amanda Cusey,” Nungesser said. ”Hurricanes Laura and Delta had a significant impact on the seafood industry in southwest Louisiana. As this region continues to recover from those storms, we wanted to hold the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off here as another way to draw attention to the area and to the Louisiana seafood industry as a whole at the same time. There is a great seafood bounty just off the coast of southwest Louisiana that finds its way to the menus of many local restaurants, and this is another way we can make sure everyone knows that.”

In conjunction with the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off, Visit Lake Charles will host a restaurant night featuring tastings from Lake Charles area restaurants. Tickets for the event will also include the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off. Proceeds will be donated to the Southwest Louisiana Technical College hospitality program.

“We are honored that Lt. Governor Nungesser and the (Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board) have chosen our destination to host the 2023 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off,” said Kyle Edmiston, President/CEO of Visit Lake Charles. “We look forward to seeing chefs from across the state as they compete for the Louisiana Seafood crown. I encourage our local citizens and visitors from around the globe to come see (the cook-off) and partake in the culinary event that will complement the competition this summer.”

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser officially announces the 16th Annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off’s move to Lake Charles this morning at the Golden Nugget. Joining Lt. Governor Nungesser for the announcement were (from left) Kyle Edmiston, President/CEO of Visit Lake Charles; Mike Smith, Calcasieu Parish Police Juror; Mayor Hal McMillin, City of Westlake; Mayor Nic Hunter, City of Lake Charles; Chef Amanda Cusey, 2022 Queen of Louisiana Seafood; Greg Hennagin, SVP/GM of Golden Nugget Lake Charles. (Photo Credit: Office of the Lieutenant Governor)

The search is now on for chefs to compete in the 16th annual Cook-Off. Entrants must be an executive chef for a free-standing Louisiana restaurant belonging to the Louisiana Restaurant Association, a proud partner in both the Louisiana and Great American Seafood Cook-Offs. Chefs interested in vying for the title 2023 King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood can fill out the online entry form by the Friday, May 26, deadline. Information on previous cook-offs and updates on the event are at LouisianaSeafood.com.

Past winners of the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off include:

  • 2008: Brian Landry
  • 2009: Tory McPhail
  • 2010: Chris Lusk
  • 2011: Cory Bahr
  • 2012: Keith and Nealy Frentz
  • 2013: Cody and Samantha Carroll
  • 2014: Aaron Burgau
  • 2015: Michael Brewer
  • 2016: Blake Phillips
  • 2017: Bonnie Breaux
  • 2018: Ryan Trahan
  • 2019: Nathan Richard
  • 2020: Robert Vasquez
  • 2021: Tory McPhail (King of Kings Edition)
  • 2022: Amanda Cusey

Stay updated with the latest news, weather, and sports by downloading the WGNO app on the Apple or Google Play store and subscribing to the WGNO newsletter.