Release Date: 08/14/2007

The Louisiana Culinary Institute took first place at the inaugural Louisiana Alligator Soir?on Aug. 6, 2007.  The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB) presented the student competition in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to boost consumer and chef awareness of the lean and delicious Louisiana alligator.

The winning student team members from the Baton Rouge institute are also employed by local restaurants there: Dustin Deshotels of Juban's Restaurant; Jude Huval of Pat's Fisherman's Wharf; Jeremy Jeansonne from Don's Seafood and Steak House; and Philip Cornman from Hollywood Casino Steakhouse.

They were obviously very proud as they posed for photographs while displaying their two dishes.  The appetizer was poached alligator sausage over German potato salad with garlic aioli and the entr?was alligator and heirloom tomato napoleon.

LSPMB Assistant Executive Director Liz Ferguson explained, "Besides alligator meat, the chefs-to-be were expected to work with mystery ingredients similar to TV's Iron Chef Challenge."  The mystery ingredients included: one of Anheuser-Busch's Michelob beers, Louisiana shrimp and canned artichoke hearts.

The other competing student teams were from Delgado Community College Culinary Program (New Orleans) and SOWELA Technical Community College (Lake Charles).  Students were instructed to select their ingredients from the on-site Whole Foods Market and then had two hours to prepare an appetizer and an entr?

Chef Duke LeCicero from Caf?iovani emceed the festive event.  The judges were seated at tables decorated with plate ware and other assorted items from Cookin' Cajun Cooking School.  Judges included: Chef Guy Sockrider of Muriel's Restaurant, Chad Phar owner of Phares' Restaurant, Registered Sanitarian Barry Blue, and radio host and reporter Don Dubuc of WWL radio.

For recipes and photos, visit www.LouisianaSeafood.com/alligator.

For more information, contact Liz Ferguson at 504-283-8353.