Like so many events of 2021, the annual Cook-Off for the Coast went virtual, but it was no less exciting.
Even without the scent of gumbo wafting through the air, or the joy of attendees sampling dishes and awakening their taste buds with wild game dishes, we were still able to gather together online to celebrate why our coast is so important – and why restoring critical areas is so necessary to preserving our unique way of life.
The Cook-Off has become a much-anticipated annual event to celebrate the bounty of Louisiana’s coast. While highlighting food, music and culture from coastal communities, we also take the opportunity to educate attendees. Our region provides rich and critical habitat to such an array of diverse species, and we must talk about the importance of acting now to restore these areas for future generations.
This year we also added new art and recipe contests to our Cook-Off, including a panel of “local celebrity” judges who enthusiastically reviewed and selected winners from different categories. The event included cooking demos by Chef Isaac Toups and river boat pilot Jared Austin, a virtual flyover of the coast, and a special pre-recorded set from the Michot’s Melody Makers and Leyla McCalla.
Congrats to our winners for the 2021 Virtual Cook-Off for the Coast artwork competition:
Ages 12 and Under
• First Place: Failing Fisher by Hayden Espiritu
• Second Place: Sunset on the Coast by Malorie Kate Wilson
• Third Place: The Peace in Nature by Jolie Whitaker
Ages 13 to 17
• First Place: Mudbug Munching by Aubree Sylvia
• Second Place: Down da Road Heritage by Hailey Barrow
• Third Place: Louisiana Foods by Robyn Hays
Age 18 and Up
• First Place: Oyster Harvest in Grand Isle by James Collier
• Second Place: Shuck Off & Miss Amy by Darrah Fox Bach
• Third Place: Crawdaddy by David Scarbroug
• Khalil Mcknight from New Orleans Center for Creative Arts for his five-part entry: Kettle Cooked, HogWash, Shrimp n Sausage, Tabasco, and Crawfish Etouffee
Thanks to our esteemed art competition judges:
- Robin Barnes, singer
- Luis Colmenares, metal artist
- Pippi Frisbie-Calder, printmaker
- Terrance Osborne, painter and gallery owner
- Sabrina Schmidt, graphic designer
- Zack Smith, photographer
Congrats to our winners for the 2021 Virtual Cook-Off for the Coast recipe competition:
This year’s event followed the same categories as years past, with fly, crawl, swim, and student categories.
- Fly: Dr. Gary LaFleur, Jr. with his Girlfriend Graine a Voler ramen—a new take on the fly category that features foraged lotus seeds
- Crawl: Mike Falgout with Alligator Sauce Piquante
- Swim: James Collier (a double winner) for his Grilled Redfish with Dill Vinaigrette
- Student: Jason Danna with his All Surf No Turf crabcakes and scallops in a remoulade
- Honorable Mention: Aaron Acord with Aaron’s Oystah Bake
Thanks to our esteemed recipe competition judges:
• Liz Williams from the Southern Food and Beverage Museum
• Washington Post Food Reporter and Editor Ann Maloney
• Chef Lincoln Owens
• Retired Times-Picayune food editor Judy Walker
Each winner received a custom-designed trophy by local metal artist Luis Colmenares, as well as all-important bragging rights. Every recipe submission will be featured in the Coastal Community Cookbook, which can be found at MississippiRiverDelta.org/recipes.
View the full 2021 virtual event at: https://www.facebook.com/CookoffForTheCoast/videos/252111803166299
We cannot wait to update you on our upcoming plans for the next Cook-Off! In the meantime, please consider becoming a coastal advocate by signing up for updates in the “Get Involved” section of this website.