Annual seafood cook-off brings some of the best chefs to Jackson - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Annual seafood cook-off brings some of the best chefs to Jackson

"We're going to cook you some food and have a good time....."Source: WLBT "We're going to cook you some food and have a good time....."Source: WLBT
"Like Shrimping season started two weeks and we got our shrimp right off the boat," ....Source: WLBT "Like Shrimping season started two weeks and we got our shrimp right off the boat," ....Source: WLBT
We're trying to source as much from Mississippi as possible," ....Source: WLBT We're trying to source as much from Mississippi as possible," ....Source: WLBT
It can only be described as a collision of culinary talent. The best Chefs from all over the state came together and threw down, All in the name of food......Source: WLBT It can only be described as a collision of culinary talent. The best Chefs from all over the state came together and threw down, All in the name of food......Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

What can be described as a collision of culinary talent, the best chefs from all over the state come together and "throw down," all in the name of food.

Saturday was the 4th annual Seafood Cook-Off in Jackson. Twelve restaurants competed, five of them being local.

Chef Austin Sumrall and his wife are the owners of The White Pillars in Biloxi. 

"We're trying to source as much from Mississippi as possible," said Chef Sumrall.

Their restaurant is across the street from the Gulf of Mexico.

"Like shrimping season started two weeks and we got our shrimp right off the boat," he added. 

Chef Sumrall said his passion for food began when he was a child.

"When we were growing up, it was like we're eating lunch, where are we going to dinner," he said. "We're eating dinner, we're talking about what we are eating for breakfast." 

Executive Chef P.J. Lee also competed Saturday. He is a former attorney who realized later in life that cooking was his passion. 

"We tell you to come how you are man," Chef Lee said. "We're going to cook you some food and have a good time."

He said the theme continues when you look at his menu, so he just lets the food speak for itself.

"That's the beauty of seafood and catfish too," he explained. "It's fresh and not pumped full of all kinda stuff. It's really good by itself."

Chef John Fitzgerald, owner and executive chef of Restaurant Tyler in Starkville, was also a competitor in this year's competition.

Some people say he can almost be described as the "Dr. Who" of food. 

"So, we're doing a shrimp and grits take on a blue corn rissole with a traditional Mexican stew made with hominy," Chef Fitzgerald said. 

He believes that cooking is educational because you are incorporating so many cultures, each with their own flavors and unique cooking styles. 

"I've been studying a lot about how much we go to our indigenous roots here," he explained. "The Native Americans gave us corn and there are so many different things we take for granted like Shrimp and Grits. People consider it an American thing but truly it really came from them."

Each chef brought their own style, perspective and flavor to the table.

In the end, Louis LaRose, executive chef and owner of Lou's Full Serve, left with the title of champion.

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