From Edible Louisville: Kentucky chef Jeremy Ashby knew his freshwater trout and prawns combo was a long shot to win the annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans last month. But he had no doubts he’d get his chance to give the influential fish folk there a quick lesson in Kentucky sustainable aquaculture.
“Every year we know that coming from a landlocked state is a disadvantage,” said Ashby, executive chef at Azur Restaurant in Lexington and a two-time cook-off competitor. The 8-year-old contest’s rules mandate any fish ingredient must come from that chef’s state’s waters.
So far, all of the cook-off winners have come from states abutting salt water, and out of this year’s 14 competitors, only three came from landlocked states. “We knew that if we were going to impress anybody, we’d have to be showmen. So we smoked the fish right there at the contest. It made for good TV.”