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Griffin to Select Arkansas Chef to Compete in Louisiana’s 13th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off

June 02, 2016

Says, ‘will be a great opportunity to showcase Arkansas’s extraordinary culinary talent at no cost to the taxpayer’

LITTLE ROCK – Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin today announced that Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser has invited him to select an executive-level chef to represent Arkansas in the 13th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off on August 6, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Regarding the cook-off, Griffin issued the following statement:

“Arkansas has some great chefs and restaurants that specialize in freshwater fish and seafood dishes.  The Great American Seafood Cook-Off will be a great opportunity to showcase Arkansas’s extraordinary culinary talent at no cost to the taxpayer.”

The 13th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off is hosted by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and the Louisiana Restaurant Association, and it will feature top executive-level chefs from across the country. A panel of nationally recognized chefs and media members will judge the cook-off and declare the winner “King or Queen of American Seafood 2016.” 

No Arkansas taxpayer dollars will be spent toward Arkansas’s participation in the cook-off. Arkansas’s chef will be responsible for all of his or her own expenses, including travel, accommodations, and the cost of ingredients.  Additionally, Lieutenant Governor Griffin will personally pay for any costs associated with his attendance at the cook-off or related events.

If you have questions or would like to suggest a chef for consideration, please contact us at (501) 682-2144 by close of business on Thursday, June 16, 2016. A complete list of the official entry guidelines is included with this release. For more information about the 13th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off, click the following link:

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 19 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 two children.




GASCO will take place on Saturday, August 6, 2016 in New Orleans, LA.

  • This 13th annual event is hosted by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board and the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA).
  • Lt. Governors from each state have been asked to appoint a chef to compete and share his/her state’s seafood industry and culinary talent.
  • Each chef is asked to use at least one domestic seafood product from his/her state.  Although not a requirement to compete, this is an opportunity for states to highlight their domestic seafood communities.  For any landlocked state who wishes to compete, sourcing seafood from a neighboring state is accepted and encouraged. 
  • No institutional chefs or large corporate restaurant chefs (10 or more sites) may compete.
  • Chefs who have competed in the past three years (2013, 2014 or 2015) as a lead chef are not eligible to participate.
  • There are 18 spots available in the competition.  Spaces will be granted to the first states that send in the required information. 
  • All costs associated with competing in GASCO are the responsibility of the representing state.  The LA Seafood Board has reserved a block of rooms at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside at a discounted rate for participating chefs. 
  • Chefs are asked to arrive on Friday, August 5th; competition begins at 11:00am on Saturday, August 6th and will be complete by 5:00pm.  We encourage chefs to stay the remainder of the weekend to enjoy the many sights, sounds and great restaurants New Orleans has to offer.

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