In commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, we celebrated the only way New Orleanians know how – with food! This past spring, 11 Navy ships from around the world partnered their chefs with some of the best in New Orleans for a cook-off showcasing our treasured local Louisiana seafood, hosted by New Orleans culinary icons John Besh and John Folse. To participate, each team prepared a meal to be judged on taste, flavor and presentation in hopes of winning the title of Nola Navy Week Cook-off Champion! The star-studded event garnered quite a crowd and you can catch it all right here on GoNOLA TV! Watch to find out which chef from the U.S.S. Wasp took home the trophy! If you didn’t make it this time around, mark your calendar for 2015 when the U.S. Navy will return to New Orleans for the official closing of the War of 1812 Bicentennial!
Like this video on the NOLA Navy Week Seafood Cookoff? Check out the GoNOLA TV YouTube channel for more great videos about New Orleans!
Ewell Smith: Well we’re here for the very first inaugural navy week Louisiana. We have 11 ships from around the world we’re partnering up those chefs from those ships with some of the best chefs from Louisiana and were having a cook off. Before the cook off gets underway the teams had to browse the supermarkets to shop for ingredients.
Rouses’ Employee: Hi, welcome to Rouses, we’re here to provide you a great new store in beautiful downtown New Orleans to find all the vast local seafood and everything else you need for your dishes.
Ewell Smith: Each team gets a 200 dollar gift card and an hour to shop. The rules are very simple for the days competition they’ve got to use one primary protein and thats Louisiana seafood. They’re going to be judged on taste, flavor, and presentation; look barbeque oisters and smokey cheese grits. After stocking up on fresh seafood and produce the shefs head to Woldenberg Park to start the competition. chef John Besh , and John Folse are the hosts here to entertain the crowd and support the teams.
Speaker 3: You have a saute of mushrooms there John, with just a little bit of soy sauce. You have some ginger, some garlic, some scallion whats not to like?
Speaker 4: Look at all of that John. Look at how nice and fresh that is. That’s why I’m a big fan of the Mammoth and a half here on the chefs team, putting together their always [tradish] I wish all of the spectators could be right here over the food watching whats going on, these guys are really meticulous in their [plating] and a half here on the chefs team putting together I have never seen anything like it. You have 20 seconds.
Chef Constintino [sp] putting his final efforts into this dish, its looking great smelling better. I wish I was on the judges panel for this one.
Speaker 4: 10 seconds. 9, 8, 7, count it down; 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. All right. Take it on out.
Ewell Smith: The food is making its way to the judges. As the judges begin the tasting portion here we’re going to give them time to chew a little bit.
Speaker 1: Ask the judge what they think of this oyster dish.
Judge: So, this is great the oysters are awesome. The presentation is great, the barbeque sauce is delicious. Well done, very well done.All right. Y’all ready? Honorable mention goes to Renee Baghou [sp] petty officer Roland. The winner is, Johnny Blanchard [SP] with the USS [inaudible 00:02:42].
Speaker 1: They all put their heart into this and put a lot of thought into it, but as in any competition I think there were two or three that rose to the top. And interestingly enough the last presentation that was done on this cedar plank blew us away in terms of the presentation. It was a fun, fun day.
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