Roosevelt chef competing in Great American Seafood Cook-Off

The burning question of who has the best seafood dish in all of America will be answered in August.

The list of accolades for Chef Lee Gregory of The Roosevelt is long and comes from national sources such as The New York Times and Esquire as well as kudos from all the local outlets. Well just like the food is a step above, now the accolades have taken a step up.

Every year there is a Great American Seafood Cook-Off where 18 chefs throw their toque into the ring and battle it out for the best seafood chef in the country. This year the competition is in New Orleans, home to the best food I’ve ever tasted, and will be held on August 2nd. During the competition chefs have an hour to prepare a dish using seafood exclusively from their respective states and then will be given 10 minutes to present their creation to the judges.

Today Governor McAuliffe announced that Chef Gregory will be representing the Commonwealth.

More from the official press release.

“We are very proud to have Chef Gregory represent the Commonwealth of Virginia in this competition,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Chef Gregory has already shown his outstanding culinary talents to Virginia. Now it’s time for the rest of the country to see them, along with some of the Commonwealth’s delicious seafood offerings.”

James Beard Award nominee Lee Gregory worked at Acacia in Richmond for five years before moving to nearby Six Burner, Mockingbird in Staunton and Blue Light Grill in Charlottesville. He returned to Richmond in 2011 to open The Roosevelt. Gregory is set to open Southbound, a partnership with Joe Sparatta of Heritage, in late 2014. Chef Gregory’s dishes are an “untraditional celebration of the South,” and are served alongside an all-Virginia wine list and a heavy selection of regional craft beers. In addition to two James Beard nominations, Chef Gregory and The Roosevelt have received accolades from Garden & Gun, Southern Living, The New York Times, Esquire, STYLE Weekly, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginian-Pilot,, and many more.

“Virginia’s diversified seafood industry, which is the largest on the East Coast and the third largest in the nation, is an incredible economic asset and is booming in popularity,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore. “Having Chef Gregory in New Orleans representing Virginia helps to further the message that the Commonwealth is a major player when it comes to seafood.”

The Virginia seafood industry is one of the oldest industries in the United States and one of the Commonwealth’s largest. According to 2012 figures, Virginia is the nation’s third largest producer of marine products with total landings of just under 495 million pounds and is only out paced by Alaska and Louisiana. The dockside value to watermen alone was approximately $192 million in 2012.

Image: Great American Cookoff

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Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

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