More than 200 Louisiana high school juniors and seniors in the ProStart program will convene in New Orleans for the Louisiana Seafood ProStart Student Invitational, March 25-26 to compete for $1.2 million in scholarship opportunities. For the second consecutive year, Louisiana Seafood is the title sponsor of the event produced by the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF), which stipulates that teams incorporate at least one of the six seafood species into their appetizer or entrée in the Culinary Competition, and include seafood into their menu as part of their restaurant concept in the Management Competition.
“We have such talented young culinarians in the Louisiana ProStart program,” said Alice Glenn, LRAEF Executive Director. “When they are tasked with using Louisiana seafood in their dishes, we’ve seen incredibly beautiful and deliciously creative cuisine, although, Louisiana seafood has long been a favorite protein by competitors in previous years.”
To further the Louisiana Seafood brand with the industry’s up-and-coming rising stars, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board is also sponsoring the Louisiana Seafood Showcase Dinner on the evening of March 25 for competitors. The showcase features six notable chefs who will use one of the six Louisiana seafood species—crab, alligator, oyster, shrimp, crawfish and finfish—in a signature dish.
“The students will have the opportunity to taste Chef John Folse’s crawfish etouffee and Chef Peter Sclafani’s shrimp and grits,” added Glenn. “The chefs will also be there to speak with the students about why Louisiana seafood is superior to seafood from elsewhere.”
In addition to crawfish etouffee and shrimp and grits, the menu includes: blackened redfish burgers by Chef Austin Kirzner of Red Fish Grill, Drago’s Restaurant’s famed charbroiled oysters, crabmeat cheesecake by Chef Jason Ameen of Palace Café and alligator sauce piquante by Chef Brian Landry of Borgne, a John Besh Restaurant.
These Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) members have supported ProStart program since its inception and regularly mentor, volunteer and participate in fundraisers that benefit the LRA Education Foundation.
“Each student will receive a commemorative Louisiana Seafood Showcase Dinner Recipe Book to recreate these dishes,” said Glenn. “We are so fortunate to live in Louisiana and have such a bounty of indigenous seafood options to inspire our world-renowned culinarians.”