Fires blazed and seafood sizzled as New Orleans hosted the sixth annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in July 2009. During the Iron Chef-style competition, chefs representing 15 states, including coastal Mississippi, Maine and California, as well as Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky and Idaho, created dishes using seafood from their home state or from local sustainable fisheries. THE GREAT AMERICAN SEAFOOD COOK-OFF contains highlights from this one-day event. The contestants are given just one hour to prepare, plate and serve their culinary masterpieces to eight judges, all while under the watchful eyes of the festival crowd and a camera crew. Chef Michel Richard, owner of Citronelle in Washington, D.C., and Coastal Livingmagazine's food editor Julia Rutland serve on the panel of industry professionals who sample and rate the chefs. In addition, John Folse of APT's A Taste of Louisiana With John Folse & Co., and captain Sig Hansen from the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catchact as celebrity emcees.