Juneau chef crowned King of American Seafood

Chef Lionel Uddipa of Juneau’s SALT restaurant, right, with sous chef Jacob Pickard, took top honors at the 14th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans on Aug. 5. Photo by Jeremy Woodrow, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

Chef Lionel Uddipa of Juneau’s SALT restaurant, was crowned in New Orleans on Aug. 5 at the new King of American Seafood.

The honor was bestowed on Uddipa during the 14th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off, where Uddipa beat the competition from a dozen other of the nation’s top chefs with his creativity in preparation of Alaskan king crab.

Uddipa and his sous chef, Jacob Pickard, prepared risotto with Alaskan king crab, sea asparagus and salmon roe.

“It is an honor to have had the opportunity to represent my home state and to bring the crown back to Alaska,” Uddipa said. ‘From the foraged sea asparagus and blueberry branches to the rich king crab and fresh salmon roe, this dish represents so much of what I love about living and cooking in Alaska.”

Each chef in the culinary face-off was required to prepare a dish promoting the use of their home state’s wild seafood, while interacting with a live audience, celebrity hosts and the “chef refs.” Each dish was scored on presentation, creativity, composition, craftsmanship and flavor.

For more information on the competition and to view competitors’ recipes, visit http://www.greatamericanseafoodcookoff.com