This is not a joke:
A month or so ago, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindall invited Utah Governor Gary Herbert to participate in a seafood cooking contest.
It all requires some clarification.
For 10 years, the state of Louisiana has hosted the annual Great American Seafood Cookoff in which chefs from around 18 other states compete with their best seafood recipes featuring sustainably grown fish from their home state.
A challenge for Utah in more ways than one. After all, we're a landlocked state–no oceans, gulfs, bays and the biggest lake is so saline fish can't live in it. Brine shrimp canapes, anyone??
We do have an amazing number of terrific chefs though, all of whom are utterly talented at working creatively with local ingredients of all kinds. And we do have sustainably raised trout, one of the most delicious fish on the planet. (And our state fish.)
On Monday July14, in the teaching kitchen at Harmons City Creek store (with the help of tireless chef Aaron Ballard) chefs Phelix Gardner of Pago and Finca, Briar Handley of the soon-to-open Handle and Clement Gelas, who has replaced Handley as executive chef at Talisker on Main will compete in what boils down to a mountain trout cook-off to determine who will represent Utah at the Great American Seafood Cookoff in New Orleans on August 3.
Lucky me. I am one of the judges, along with KUTV's Mary Nickes, Creminelli queen and food maven Vanessa Chang and Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, among others. I'll let you know how it turns out.
And may the best fish win.