Following suit with many, many other annual events that have been forced to adapt to a quarantine-minded presentation, the 2020 Louisiana Seafood Cookoff is making the leap to a virtual venue. In this annual bout for the title of king or queen of Louisiana seafood cuisine, all-star chefs come from across the state to compete. During the announcement of the competitors from the Louisiana Seafood Marketing and Promotion Board as well as Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, the details of the new format were formally released. The event will take place over the course of two days, with recording starting on Monday, September 28, and finishing the next day.
Rather than the massive culinary coliseums the event is used to, competitors will do their cooking in a sanitary and safe environment that is conducive to online streaming for all interested parties to view. The criteria the judges will be grading the dishes on are presentation, creativity, composition, craftsmanship, and flavor. This is meant to be a participatory, fun-for-all cooking event: Although its competitors are master chefs, there are multiple restrictions to their repertoire that will keep recipes not only repeatable but accessible. Ingredients will be limited to those that can be purchased at a grocery store, and the recording itself will have guides to each dish and how to replicate it in your own kitchen.
New to this year's event is the introduction of a mass-vote-based award, or a "People's Choice" award. Included as a means of meshing together the spirit of repeatability that this year's dishes will invoke, the viewers themselves will be able to visit the Cookoff's website and vote for both their favorite chef and dish. The voting period will be open for quite some time; votes will be accepted all the way until Monday, October 27. A wide variety of chefs from across the state will be participating, including those heading up famous restaurants like Drago's. So, if you have any interest in cooking competitions, be sure to tune in when the event kicks off online on September 28.