In the second NOLA Navy Week Seafood Battle of New Orleans to benefit the New Orleans Mission, eight local chefs joined cooks from eight ships representing the British, Canadian and U.S. navies, as well as the Marines and Coast Guard, to see who could cook the best dish using local seafood.
“This was a great battle for a good cause,” said David Bottner, executive director of The New Orleans Mission. “While the food from all the competitors was delicious, their work to help our efforts in implementing the 3 R’s — rescue, recovery and re-engagement — was priceless.”
The competition to combat hunger, homelessness and hopelessness was held at the Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza. It was won by the team of CS3 Julie Nguyen, of the USS Wasp, and chef Joel Brown, of Café Hope, with a Caribbean-influenced dish with barbecue shrimp over an andouille-flavored risotto.
Nguyen said she probably will make the dish for the captain of the USS Wasp.
Second place went to the USS Cole’s CS3 Tyler Patrick and chef Jerome Jones, of Liberty’s Kitchen. The third-place winners were FS2 Edgar Monita, of the USCGC Dauntless, and his teammate, chef Matthew Wofford, of Café Reconcile.
The military chefs were joined by local chefs from the New Orleans Mission, Café Reconcile, Café Hope, Giving Hope, Jack & Jake’s Public Market, Joey K’s and Liberty’s Kitchen, along with the 2012 King and Queen of Louisiana Seafood, for the event.
Judges included Susan Ford, publisher of Louisiana Kitchen and Culture; chef T. Walden, the sergeant at arms for the American Culinary Foundation and U.S. Marine Corps chef; Navy Rear Adms. Cindy Thebauld and Tim Gallaudet; Coast Guard Cmdr. Master Chief Ryan Fahlenkamp; and Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Richard Mills.
Established in 1989, the New Orleans Mission’s purpose is to rescue, recover and re-engage the homeless population and economically disadvantaged residents as far as the southern coastal parishes of St. Tammany, lower Jefferson, St. Bernard, Terrebonne, Plaquemines and Lafourche.