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Bryan Adams, the new executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, will be in Lafayette Tuesday for the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off at the Cajundome Convention Center. Greg Hilburn/USA Today Network

 

The new director of Louisiana’s Seafood Promotion Board begins his job by playing host to a signature event — the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off in Lafayette on Tuesday.

 

Former state Rep. Bryan Adams was appointed as the face of the Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board by Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser last week.

Adams, who also spent 30 years as a firefighter and has worked for former Gov. Bobby Jindal and Gov. John Bel Edwards, said he’s never been more excited about starting a new job.

RELATED: THE Taco Festival is coming to Lafayette!

His favorite Louisiana seafood dish?: Spicy boiled shrimp with a simple sauce of mayonnaise, ketchup and a splash of one of the state’s famous hot sauces.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to promote what I believe is Louisiana’s No. 1 natural resource — its seafood and the men and women who work so hard to harvest and process it,” Adams said in an interview with USA Today Network.

Perhaps no event better showcases Louisiana’s succulent shrimp, sea salty oysters and crawfish heads and tails than the Cook-Off, which Lafayette snatched from New Orleans. Chefs begin cooking at 5 p.m. Ticket prices begin at $20 in conjunction with Eat Lafayette, .a Travel Lafayette promotion.

“New Orleans wasn’t very happy about it, but they’ll get over it,” Nungesser said when he announced in May the Cook-Off would move to Lafayette this year.

Adams was more diplomatic, but emphasized that Lafayette is among Louisiana’s culinary capitals.

“I’m looking forward to meeting new friends and chefs in the heart of Cajun country,” Adams said.

Chefs from New Orleans to Lafayette, Alexandria to Monroe and Shreveport to Baton Rouge will compete in the Cook-Off.

They include: Ryan Andre, City Pork Brasserie and Bar in Baton Rouge; Bonnie Breaux, The St. John Restaurant in St. Martinville; Lyle Broussard, Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill in Lake Charles; Eric Cook, Bourbon House in New Orleans; Anthony Felan, Wine Country Bistro in Shreveport; Ben Fidelak, The Levee in Alexandria; Austin Kirzner, Red Fish Grill in New Orleans; Dustie Latiolais, Crawfish Town USA in Henderson; Chris McKnight, The Fat Pelican in Monroe; Ernest Prejean, Prejean’s Restaurant in Lafayette; Nathan Richard, Cavan in New Orleans; and Brad Tanner, Cafe Vermilionville in Lafayette.

Adams will manage the agency’s finances, oversee its marketing program and coordinate events throughout the state and country highlighting the premier taste of our Louisiana seafood.

“(His) legislative experience will benefit the Louisiana seafood industry tremendously as we fight the cheap imports and unfair regulations threatening every aspect of the seafood industry,” Nungesser said. “We all know our seafood tastes better, and I look forward to working with him and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board to increase awareness of the health benefits of eating Louisiana seafood.”

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1