Fayetteville Chef To Represent Arkansas In American Seafood Cook-Off

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A Fayetteville chef has been chosen to represent Arkansas in Louisiana's 2018 Great American Seafood Cook-Off.

Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin nominated Maudie Schmitt, co-owner and chef at Cafe Rue Orleans, Wednesday (June 13).

The cook-off will coincide with the Louisiana Seafood Expo in New Orleans on August 4.

"I'm excited," said Schmitt. "I'm excited to represent the state of Arkansas in my home city of New Orleans."

Chefs representing a number of states will be showcasing their seafood cuisine during the cook-off. Schmitt has settled on her signature dish, Catfish Tchoupitoulas, she created herself, using some Arkansas ingredients.

"I'm going to use War Eagle Mills' grits as the base, and then I'm going to use Arkansas catfish," Schmitt said.

Schmitt has run her College Avenue restaurant for more than 17 years, making authentic New Orleans cuisine.

For Schmidt, this competition is about doing what she loves.

"For me, feeding people is what I do. It's a connection that we have," Schmitt said. "If I feed you something, you take and bite and go, 'Oh my God, this is like the best thing I've ever ate!' That's my three pointer right there."