Indianapolis Chef Ryan Nelson is headed to New Orleans this week for the Great American Seafood Cook-off.
In its 14th year, the cook-off promotes the quality and variety of domestic seafood. During the competition, each chef will prepare a dish that highlights the use of domestic seafood while interacting with a live audience, celebrity hosts and the “chef ref.” Each dish will be presented to a panel of nationally known judges, who will score based on presentation, creativity, composition, craftsmanship and flavor.
After eight years as executive chef/partner at the Indianapolis Oceanaire Seafood Room, Nelson is now the chef/owner of Indy’s Late Harvest Kitchen and the North End Barbecue.
Where does Chef Nelson get his fish?
“We do a lot of fish out of the Great Lakes. A lot of lake fish, lake trout, walleye, white fish, smelt," says Nelson "I’m an avid fisherman myself and love fishing for walleye, so we do a lot of lake fish on our menus.”
Nelson is one of 13 chefs competing and the only one from Indiana. He has a pretty good idea of what he will be preparing to hopefully win over the judges.
“Ahead of time they kind of want you to submit a recipe, and I’m going to be highlighting white fish out of Lake Michigan,” he says.
The 2017 Great American Seafood Cook-Off will be held at the Ernest Morial Convention Center Aug. 5 at 11:30 a.m., in front of a live audience and panel of nationally-acclaimed judges.