Food Prize competition pairs ArkLaTex, celebrity chefs

Prize Fest Food Prize competition
Prize Fest Food Prize competition(Prize Fest foundation)
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 12:47 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - In two weeks, Prize Fest will kick off for a two-weekend stint in downtown Shreveport.

Food Prize 2021 will feature a local chef teamed up with a celebrity chef to make an unexpected dish. The winner earns the title of “Golden Fork” champion.

Attendees at the competition get to taste the creative dishes and play a role in crowning the winner.

Allison Gras is one of this year’s local chefs competing in the showcase. She is the co-executive chef at Revenir and Cypress by the Revenir restaurants.

“I had a long conversation with Tristen Epps – my celebrity partner - the other day and we have a super creative dish planned. We picked a protein that was in our seafood and fish category that a lot of people, I feel like, don’t use and maybe have never even tried.”

Gras said she’s a little nervous to try a wilder side with her cuisine.

“I feel like people might be afraid to even try what you’re offering if you’re a little too wild. But at the same time, why not swing for the fences? Give it all you got.”

“My fiancé and I are both the co-executive chefs of Cypress by the Revenir and the Revenir downtown which will be French. The Cypress is going to be a spin on southern style, like Tapas — small plates. With that being said, what Tristen and I have come up with together is something that would not be on either one of those menus. We’re super excited to play around and get to do stuff that we normally don’t get to do.”

Niematulai Longstratt is the owner and founder of RNL Authentic/Cookery Corner. She is another local chef who will team up with celebrity chef Josh Harmon out of Dallas.

“When I heard what I’m going to be playing with and I was paired with Josh, I thought I have the perfect idea: leftovers.”

Longstratt, who is originally from West Africa, said her African style was sort of a melting pot. However, when she moved to Louisiana she had to accommodate her spices to suit a more Louisiana taste.

She was typically known for her role in fashion but said she has surprised many people who had no idea she could cook.

“I’m a girl of many talents,” Longstratt said. “This puts me in front of a lot of people that don’t know that I cook. This time around I believe it will be a new crowd of people that don’t know about my business or haven’t tried my food.

“Knowing Josh, my food prize husband, I’m sure we’re about to marry some seafood together and it’s just going to explode into new people’s mouth and they’re going to wonder where these people come from as we walk away with the prize.”

Food Prize will be on the second weekend of Prize Fest this year. Chefs will battle it out for the Golden Fork on the weekend of September 30th through Oct. 1st.

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