Saltie Girl is heading to NOLA to represent the state of MA in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off!


Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and the Louisiana Office of Tourism will welcome Massachusetts’ own Chef Kyle McClelland from Saltie Girl in Boston, along with 12 other chefs from across the country, to the nation’s ultimate seafood cooking competition. The 2017 Great American Seafood Cook-Off will be held at the Ernest Morial Convention Center Aug. 5, 2017, at 11:30 a.m., in front of a live audience and panel of nationally-acclaimed judges.

During the competition, each chef will prepare a dish that highlights the use of domestic seafood while interacting with a live audience, celebrity hosts and the “chef ref.” Each dish will be presented to a panel of nationally known judges, who will score based on presentation, creativity, composition, craftsmanship and flavor. In its 14th year, the 2017 Great American Seafood Cook-Off continues to promote the quality and variety of domestic seafood.

To be eligible to compete in the event, chefs must either hold the current title of King or Queen of Seafood or be appointed by the lieutenant governor of their respective state.

A New England native, McClelland was born in Dover, New Hampshire and raised in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, which is where he developed his love of seafood and passion for all things culinary. McClelland attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City where he earned his Grand Diploma. In 2016, Chef McClelland teamed-up with restauranteur Kathy Sidell to open Saltie Girl. His impressive accomplishments in his 19-year culinary career are a result of his unyielding passion, precise technique and innovative palate. He has appeared on the Food Network’s “Chopped” and cooked at the James Beard house. When he is not in the kitchen, McClelland enjoys listening to live music, trying new restaurants, and spending time with his friends and family.  

The full list of competitors includes:

Meet the judges:

Meet the hosts:

  • Chef Cory Bahr – Celebrity chef and finalist on season 13 of “The Next Food Network Star”
  • Chef Rusty Hamlin – Executive chef for Zac Brown Band and finalist on season 13 of “The Next Food Network Star”
  • Paul Murphy – WWL-TV (CBS) in New Orleans, LA

Meet the Chef Ref:

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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