Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Louisiana Seafood for Life Contest is Live

It’s delicious and nutritious! Louisiana seafood can be low in calories and fat, given its preparation. That’s why the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) is partnering with the Louisiana Seafood for Life campaign to encourage restaurants and chefs statewide to submit their healthy seafood recipe.  And the payoff for you can be significant.

“We take for granted the healthy benefits of Louisiana seafood,” said Ewell Smith, Executive Director of the LouisianaSeafood Promotion and Marketing Board. “Our seafood is an outstanding source of lean protein and omega—3’s.” 
Mestizo Restaurant's "Mexican Stir Fry"
is a competitor in the Louisiana Seafood
for Life contest which runs through
Nov. 31, 2012.
The Louisiana Seafood for Life contest is already live with just a dozen restaurants participating, but it’s certainly not too late for you to submit your healthy seafood option. Chefs are invited to create a healthy menu item using Louisiana seafood as the primary source of protein, then enter their recipe and information into the form here. Recipes must be under 600 calories and less than 20 grams of fat per serving.

With the bounty of Louisiana seafood – finfish, shrimp, crabs, alligator, oysters and crawfish—the opportunity for you to showcase these ingredients in a creative and good for you way can pay off big time.

By submitting your healthy Louisiana seafood menu item, you are entered in the contest. The winner is determined by the recipe with the most “likes” on Facebook, now through November 31, 2012. You can drive traffic to your recipe through your social media channels and engage your followers to support your submission.

“The recipe with the most ‘likes’ at the close of the contest will win a $10,000 to launch your own advertising campaign for your restaurant,” said Smith.

Ralph Brennan, of Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, has embraced the contest with each of his restaurants and taken health and wellness to another level. He challenged his staff to trim down at his four New Orleans area restaurants in a 90-day competition, with his personal goal set at losing 20 pounds.

Restaurateur Jim Urdiales of Mestizo Restaurant in Baton Rouge is excited to participate in the contest and generate some exposure for his six healthy menu items, which he’s been serving for two years.

“When people think of eating better, Mexican food is usually one of the first things on the list to go,” said Urdiales. “Two years ago, we developed the Mexican Stir Fry for a customer who wanted to eat better, with less butter, fried ingredients and starches. It’s been really popular.”

When he looked around at the Mexican concept landscape, none of them seemed to be capitalizing on the health menu option trend, one that made the top 20 by the National Restaurant Association since 2009. He also created a skinny margarita recipe and offers baked or wheat chips for those looking to join the fun, but watch the waist line.  

Urdiales is also an active user of social media to promote his restaurant and engage with his customers about new items, specials and events.

“This contest gives me something positive to talk to my social media followers about. I get to encourage them to vote for their favorite recipe and also share the benefits of eating Louisiana seafood that’s prepared in a healthier way,” he said.

Chef, do you have a recipe you want to submit? Here’s how.


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