Cypress Bayou executive chef is top winner in Acadiana Culinary Classic

CHARENTON -- A Berwick chef took top honors in the 28th annual Acadiana Culinary Classic in Lafayette.

Scott McCue, executive chef at Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, won the grand prize of “Best in Show” for his Veal Crepinette with Truffled Veal Mousse served with Morel and Cognac Cream Reduction.

Veal is a traditional French dish, McCue explained. “I incorporated my fond taste for truffles. I enjoy using foie gras and mushrooms … and I completed it with a cognac cream sauce,” he said.

McCue, in his position as executive chef, oversees all other chefs at Cypress Bayou and has been cooking for 25 years. He began his studies at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., but said “the majority of what I’ve learned today, I’ve learned on hand.”

Originally from Arizona, McCue has lived in Louisiana for 18 years, working the entire time for Cypress Bayou.

The American Culinary Federation, which has chapters in every state, chooses non-profits to be beneficiaries of its events.

For the Acadiana contest on March 1, proceeds benefited Hearts of Hope, an organization providing support services and counseling for the sexually abused.

McCue has taken the top prize in several other similar contests: once in Shreveport with a dessert; twice in Baton Rouge for veal and beef dishes; and once before in Lafayette for a flavored bread.

Each competition is broken down into categories with three places in each. The first place winner from each category goes on to compete for the Best in Show title. Several of the chefs McCue supervises at Cypress Bayou competed against him for the title.

The top three finishers in each category were:

—Soup: bronze, Scott McCue, Cypress Bayou Casino; silver, Jason Huguet, Steamboat Restaurant; gold, Earnest Prejean, Prejean’s Restaurant.

—Salad: bronze, Vu Nguyen, Isle of Capri Casino; silver, Prejean, Prejean’s Restaurant; gold, Jeremey Robinson, Poupart’s Bakery.

—Meat and veal: bronze, Willie Gaspard, Cypress Bayou Casino; silver, Melvin Guevara, Willow Brook Country Club; gold, McCue, Cypress Bayou Casino.

—Wild game, pork and lamb: bronze, Jeremy Conner, Village Café and POUR; silver, Prejean, Prejean’s Restaurant; gold, Bennet Simmons, Opelousas General Hospital.

—Poultry: bronze, Simmons, Opelousas General Hospital; silver, Gaspard, Cypress Bayou Casino; gold, Jonathan Freeman, Cypress Bayou Casino.

—Shellfish: bronze, Laci Booth, Mr. Lester’s Steakhouse, Cypress Bayou Casino; silver, Roman Landry, Cypress Bayou Casino; gold, Gaspard, Cypress Bayou Casino, executive sous chef.

—Finfish: bronze, Booth, Mr. Lester’s Steakhouse, Cypress Bayou Casino; silver, Keri Simon, Petroleum Club; gold, Conner, Village Cafe and POUR.

—Healthy option: bronze, Conner, Village Cafe and POUR; silver, Dennis Puissegur, Cypress Bayou Casino; gold, Guevara, Willow Brook Country Club.

—Bread: bronze, Landry, Cypress Bayou Casino; silver, Booth, Mr. Lester’s Steakhouse, Cypress Bayou Casino; gold, Patrick Poupart, Poupart’s Bakery.

—Dessert: bronze, Bradley Sonnier, Poupart’s Bakery; silver, Kellie Trimble, Isle of Capri Casino; gold, Booth, Mr. Lester’s Steakhouse, Cypress Bayou Casino.

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