LSU AgCenter/Johnny Morgan
Winners of the ninth annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off: 4-H Edition in New Orleans are from Marion County, Tennessee, with their flounder with seafood dressing dish. Pictured left are Patrick Tuck, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation, and team members Bryson Kilgore, Evan England, Payne Bumpus, Griffin Adkins and Carson Keeler and Toby Lepley, LSU AgCenter associate vice president for 4-H and youth development.
Seafood contest winner is from ... Tennessee?
NEW ORLEANS — A Tennessee team’s flounder with seafood dressing placed first at the ninth annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off: 4-H Edition in New Orleans on Aug. 4.
The cooking team from Marion County, Tennessee, included Evan England, Griffin Atkins, Payne Bumpus and Bryson Kilgore with Carson Keeler as the alternate.
Members of the southeastern Tennessee team said they are not usually known for their seafood, but they worked hard to perfect their dish.
Vicky Lofty, the Marion County 4-H agent, said they competed last year but didn’t win. So they came back this year to show what they learned.
“We knew what it took to win after being here last year,” Lofty said. “First, we had the determination, but then you throw in the taste — that dish is delicious.”
The seven teams competing this year at the Morial Convention Center included 4-H’ers from Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, which had two teams.
The second-place team in the annual 4-H competition was Tom Green County 4-H, one of the two Texas teams.
The Louisiana team from Pointe Coupee Parish rounded out the top three of this year’s competition with their dish of crawfish cakes over Louisiana toasted pecan salad.
Brandi Frey, the 4-H agent in Pointe Coupee Parish, said preparing for the competition is a group effort that requires all hands on deck.
“We got help from the nutrition agent to keep the calories within range, and we used our county agent to make sure we stayed with local products,” she said.
States are allowed to register one or two teams, with up to 10 teams allowed in the competition each year.