LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today announced that he has selected chef Maudie Schmitt to represent Arkansas in the 2018 Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 4, 2018. Schmitt, who was born in New Orleans, is the chef and co-owner of Cafe Rue Orleans in Fayetteville, which opened in January 2001.
"I am excited for chef Maudie Schmitt to represent Arkansas at the Great American Seafood Cook-off. Arkansans already know we have great food, but this event helps promote Arkansas tourism and showcase Arkansas's culinary excellence to the rest of the nation. In 2016 we had a number of enthusiastic Arkansans travel to New Orleans to show their support for Arkansas's culinary excellence, and I hope even more will join me this year."
In 2016, Lieutenant Governor Griffin nominated head chef John Munday and sous chef Marshall Smith from Samantha's Tap Room and Wood Grill of Little Rock. The competitors from Samantha's took home 2nd place at the competition.
No Arkansas taxpayer dollars will be spent toward Arkansas's participation in the cook-off. Arkansas's chef will be responsible for all of her own expenses, including travel, accommodations, and the cost of ingredients.
About Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin
Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin was elected on November 4, 2014. From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District. For the 113th Congress, he was a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means while also serving as a Deputy Whip for the Majority. In the 112th Congress, he served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway and Tulane Law School in New Orleans, and attended graduate school at Oxford University. He has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 20 years, was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Lieutenant Colonel Griffin is currently pursuing a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush. Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their three children.