FRANKFORT, Ky. (8/15/13) – Agriculture Commissioner James Comer commended a quartet of south-central Kentucky students for their strong runner-up finish in the Great American Seafood Cook Off: 4-H Edition in New Orleans earlier this month.
Commissioner Comer presented Honorary Commissioner of Agriculture certificates to Kristine Gillenwater of Allen County and Holly Harris, Bethany Reckart, and Parker Riggs of Bowling Green at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville today. They were the first team from Kentucky to compete in the cook off, and they lost by one point to a Louisiana team in the seven-team competition.
“These smart and hard-working young people did an amazing job to very nearly take the championship from a team that comes from an area with a strong tradition in seafood,” Commissioner Comer said. “They have raised the bar for future Kentucky teams in the Great American Seafood Cook Off.”
The team of 16- and 17-year-olds used Kentucky aquaculture products and Kentucky Proud fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ground corn grits to make a blackened catfish dish they called “A Taste of the Bluegrass” — a seafood hot Brown featuring Kentucky farm-raised catfish with mint julep peaches. They were required to create a recipe that was under 500 calories. They made five plates in one hour and then gave a 10-minute group presentation to the judges about their dish, Kentucky and American aquaculture, and the other Kentucky products they used in their dishes.
A news release from the Louisiana State University Ag Center credited the Kentucky team for “a colorful and artfully stacked dish and an entertaining presentation to the judges.”
The team practiced preparing and presenting its dishes up to three hours a day through July. Chef Michael Riggs, professor and executive chef at South-central Kentucky and Community and Technical College in Bowling Green, coached the Kentucky team.
Information provided by Ted Sloan
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