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Dean James Max's Great American Seafood Cook-Off Dish

Last week, we reported that Dean James Max, executive chef at 3030 Ocean and at four other restaurants worldwide, will represent Florida at the Great American Seafood Cook-Off this Saturday. Competing head-to-head against 15 other chefs from different states, Max will have to woo judges with a dish that represents Florida seafood to the fullest.

To do that, he's chosen to perform a playful riff on a BLT using white-water clams from Sebastian Inlet. We've got pictures of the (hopefully) winning dish after the cut.

Not a bad looking plate. There's the classic combination of clams and bacon, the acidity of tomato, and the crispness of the lettuce. Says Max of his recipe:

This competition is about seafood, localism, seasonality, and sustainability to me. I used white-water clams, which is a farm raised clam by Stephen Garza right inside the Sebatian Inlet. Stephen and I are both surfers who have been spending time at the beach there since I was a kid. It's a local company; the product gets to my restaurant in the same day; they are farming in a very pure way, which protects the area.

On the presentation, I am using summer tomatoes, basil, and lettuce to produce a play on a homey BLT. I add in the basil to that but keep the bacon as well, since clams match up so well with meat.

Best of luck, Dean!

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John Linn

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