MS Seafood Cook-Off to be held May 26

16-35-MMS| May 23, 2016

BILOXI, Miss. – Ten of the top chefs from across the state will compete Thursday night to be the king or queen of Mississippi Seafood.

The seventh annual Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off will be held from 6-9 p.m. May 26 at Café Climb in Gulfport. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Each chef will present a 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 in August in New Orleans and at the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Ala., in November.


“The Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off allows us to showcase the top-notch chefs we have in this state,” said Jamie Miller, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. “This event also gives the agency the opportunity to tell people how important it is to use wild-caught Gulf seafood, something that is important to our economy and our culture.”


Those who attend the cook-off will enjoy a shrimp boil, as well as gourmet side dishes and desserts from the Coast’s top restaurants and chefs. Chandeleur Island Brewing Company and Rex Distributing Co. will provide tastings of local craft beer. Ticket prices include one cocktail and the craft beer tasting. A cash bar also will be available.


Competing chefs will prepare one extra plate, and guests will be allowed to bid on these plates. The proceeds from the auction will go to Climb CDC, 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 promote self-reliance.


“The mission of Climb CDC, combined with a competition featuring the best seafood in the world, will make for a culinary event not to be missed,” Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said.


Emcees for the event are chefs David Crews and Ty Thames. Crews won the state cook-off in 2013, as well as the Great American Seafood Cook-Off that year. Thames owns several restaurants in Starkville, including Restaurant Tyler, and was the 2015 winner of the state cook-off.


This year’s chefs are:
Ryan Bell/Hal & Mal’s, Jackson
David Dickensauge/Corks and Cleaver, Gulfport
Alex Eaton/The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, Jackson
John Fitzgerald/Restaurant Tyler, Starkville
Stuart Gates/Vicki’s on Walnut, Hattiesburg
Jesse Houston/Saltine Oyster Bar, Jackson
Andy Kimbrell/Bacchus on the Beach, Pass Christian
Hunter Pugh/Delta Meat Market, Cleveland
Danie Rodriguez/LUNCH, Biloxi
Mike Roemhild/Table 100, Jackson


This year’s judges are Susan Benton of in Pensacola, Fla.; Stephen D’Angelo, CEO at in Atlanta; Jay Ducote of in Baton Rouge, La., Mary Foreman of in Biloxi and Tony Matassa, executive chef at Shopper’s Choice in Baton Rouge.


This year’s Seafood Cook-Off is produced by Eat Y’all. Tickets are $29 each or two for $50. They can be purchased at or by calling 601-852-3463. Cafe Climb is located at 1316 30th Ave., Gulfport.


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