Wind Creek Montgomery chef selected for state cook-off

Published 9:40 am Thursday, May 20, 2021

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One of Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Montgomery’s chefs was selected for the sixth annual Alabama Seafood Cook-Off, according to a release.

Chef Kelly Hargroves will join Chefs Michael Andrzejewski, Fisher’s in Orange Beach; Brandon Burleson, Sparta Academy Nutrition Program; and Scott Simpson, The Depot in Auburn, next month to compete for the chance to represent the state of Alabama in the 17th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans. The Great American Seafood Cook-Off will be held in August.

The Alabama Gulf Seafood Cook-Off is slated to be held Mon., June 21, at The Lodge at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.

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“Although it was a tough decision, we are excited about the chefs chosen and know this will be a close competition,” said Chef Jim Smith, chairman of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission and 2011 winner of both the Alabama Seafood Cook-Off and GASCO. “These competitors will contribute to the excitement and anticipation of this event and will help to bring back both the crowds and fellowship to an event truly missed in 2020.”

The selection process required chefs across the state to submit a recipe including Alabama Gulf Seafood as the featured ingredient. An expert panel of judges reviewed each chef’s recipe and selected their top four based off of creativity, composition, harmony of ingredients and more. Chef competitors and their recipe submissions are as follows:

• Andrzejewski  – Gulf Tripletail with Smoked Fish Fritters, Bacon Jam and Green Herb Puree

• Burleson – Flame Kissed Margarita Shrimp over Warm Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) with Alabama Blue Crab

• Hargroves – Gulf BBQ Plate: Fish, Grits and Greens

• Simpson – Pan Seared Gulf Yellow Edge Grouper Stuffed Poblano Chile on Gulf Shrimp, Sweet Corn and Conecuh Bacon Risotto with Cilantro Crema

This year’s ASCO signals the first year the cook-off will be held as an independent event and at The Lodge at Gulf State Park. Chefs will be competing on the spacious open terrace with the venue’s beachfront views serving as the cuisine- appropriate backdrop. All competing chefs will have one hour to complete their recipe and present it to the judges. 

“With some of the best chefs across the state of Alabama competing, this year’s Cook-Off will truly be an event you don’t want to miss,” said Chris Blankenship, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and program administrator of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. “Everyone is welcome to attend to watch these top four chefs demonstrate exquisite and delicious recipe submissions.” 

This event is free for all attendees. General admission will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, complimentary of Alabama Gulf Seafood, and a cash bar. Alabama Gulf Seafood merchandise will be available to purchase on-site.

Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Montgomery is one of three casinos owned and operated by the Poarch Creek Indians in Alabama. Other casino and hotels include Atmore and Wetumpka.