Lake Charles chef to compete in state seafood competition

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 9:46 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Louisiana Seafood Cook-off is happening Tuesday, and 12 chefs will be competing for the title of king or queen of Louisiana seafood. Among those competing are eight first-time competitors, including one of Lake Charles’ own.

Amanda Cusey is a seasoned chef, having developed a curiosity for what happens in the kitchen nearly 18 years ago.

“I was in North Carolina at the time, and I asked my kitchen manager at the restaurant I was working in if I could get in the kitchen, and he said yeah and I’ve pretty much been in kitchens ever since,” Cusey said.

Since then, Cusey has traveled to and received training in countries as far as England. She now wears the chef hat as executive chef at Villa Harlequin.

This week, she’ll put her skills in the kitchen to the test by competing in the 15th annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-off.

“I’ve never really done a cooking competition before,” Cusey said. “I have done demos and presentations and stuff but never an actual competition. So, I am pretty nervous and what not, but I think it is going to be a good time.”

The competition is hot this year as 12 chefs present a dish of their choice to a panel of judges.

Cusey is bringing her experience on Creole-inspired Italian cuisine to the table, and aside from bragging rights, she said she is competing to enjoy the experience.

“It’s going to be intense,” Cusey said. “It’s going to be cool hanging out with other chefs from around Louisiana. Getting to know some of them should be really neat and fun, just an all around good time.”

The winner of this weeks competition will represent the state in the Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans on August 6.

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