MS Seafood Cook-Off features top chefs from around the state

15-34-CWS | May 22, 2015

BILOXI, Miss. – The sixth annual Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off will be held Friday, June 5, from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Slavonian Lodge in Biloxi.


The competition showcases 10 of Mississippi’s most talented chefs, and they will be competing for the title of “king” or “queen” of Mississippi seafood. Each chef will present his or her signature dish featuring fresh, sustainable Mississippi Gulf Seafood to a select group of judges.


The winning chef will represent Mississippi in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off on Aug. 8 in New Orleans.


“The annual cook-off is one of the best events we have to showcase the top-quality chefs we have in Mississippi and fresh Gulf seafood,” said Jamie Miller, executive director of MDMR. “It also allows us to raise money for a vital community organization, CLIMB CDC.”


Chefs from various states compete in the national cook-off and must create their dishes using domestic seafood native to their state. Mississippi and Louisiana are tied for the most wins in this competition.


In 2013, chef David Crews of Cleveland, Miss., won the national title.


Chef Derek Emerson of Jackson will emcee the Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off. Emerson owns several restaurants, including Walkers Drive-In, Local 463 and Caet Wine Bar. He also is a James Beard Award semi-finalist for best Chef of the South.


The following chefs will be competing in the June 5 cook-off:

  • Ty Thames/Restaurant Tyler – Starkville
  • Matthew Kajdan/Parlor Market – Jackson
  • Justin Ferguson/Purple Parrot Café – Hattiesburg
  • Eric Spencer/Island View Casino – Gulfport
  • Ryan Bell/Hal & Mal’s – Jackson
  • Danie Rodriguez/LUNCH and City Life Café – Biloxi
  • Clayton Barney/Cotton Blues – Hattiesburg
  • Chef Anthony Rametta/Cora’s – Biloxi
  • Camron Razavi/Magnolia House by Kelly English – Biloxi
  • Corbin Evans/Oxford Canteen – Oxford


Although only the judges will taste the chefs’ preparations, event attendees will be served fresh seafood dishes prepared by culinary students of Café Climb in Gulfport. Café Climb is part of CLIMB Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit group that focuses on practical workforce training, livable wage employment opportunities, small-business job creation and sustainable housing solutions. The group’s mission is to promote strong communities by giving individuals access to opportunities that inspire self-reliance.


Tickets to the Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off are $15 for one and $28 for two, and all proceeds go to CLIMB CDC. Tickets are available online at 


The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at