Fires blazed and seafood sizzled as New Orleans hosted the fifth annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in August 2008. During the two-day competition, 15 chefs from 14 different states prepared their best dishes using the seafood indigenous to their state. Famed New Orleans chef John Besh, the winner of the 2004 competition and the 2006 James Beard Foundation's Best Chef of the Southeast, hosted the event. GREAT AMERICAN SEAFOOD COOK-OFF contains the most dramatic highlights from the event. Overcooked fish and other culinary calamities cause major stress for the contestants as they attempt to create a masterpiece in three hours. Chef John Currence, a Louisiana native, ultimately prevailed, taking home the top prize for his combination of Mississippi redfish courtboullion and seafood dirty rice. Other entries included Colorado striped bass panzanella by chef Paul Anders (Colorado), pan-roasted glazed rockfish with peas and carrots by chef Tafari Campbell (Maryland) and Texas gulf shrimp by chef Mark Holley (Texas).