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County Road 12: The Depot chef hoping to be ‘King of Seafood’

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 1:06 PM CDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - If you want to be the King, you’ll have to beat the best and Chef Scott Simpson with The Depot in Auburn is ready for the challenge.

“We got started about six years ago to the day,” said Simpson who’s also a co-owner of the popular seafood restaurant.

Simpson has traveled all over the world, cooking, learning, and honing his craft, creating a style that’s one of a kind.

“I want to take all the best regional products and prepare them in a way that’s new to the community and expose them to some of these authentic techniques and flavors,” Simpson said. “At the same time, I wanted to bring some exotic products, not from this area, and considered some of the best seasonal products in the world, and prepare it in a more familiar Southern way.”

Chef Scott Simpson with The Depot in Auburn is set to compete for the King or Queen of Seafood...
Chef Scott Simpson with The Depot in Auburn is set to compete for the King or Queen of Seafood in New Orleans.(WSFA 12 News)

Chef Scott just won the 6th annual Alabama Seafood Cook-off. He says these cooking competitions make everyone better.

“If you think about it, if you enjoy something, you want to be the best and excel, and you want to be measured. I think it’s the best way to evaluate yourself.”

With his Bama seafood title, he’s now off to New Orleans to face a dozen of the best chefs in the country. The winner will be crowned the “King or Queen of American Seafood.”

“That’s a bodacious title,” Simpson said. “So, I’m definitely excited about doing my job to the best of my abilities to showcase Alabama and The Depot restaurant.”

He’ll have one hour to prepare his dish from scratch. It won’t be in a professional kitchen and will be out in the open for everyone to watch. In this competition, you can make whatever you want, as long as it highlights your state. So what’ll be?

“We roast a poblano pepper and wrap it around a seared Gulf edge grouper. That’s on top of a really nice risotto, local corn, Conecuh bacon, and gulf shrimp. We do it in like a street corn risotto.”

Chef Scott Simpson with The Depot in Auburn is set to compete for the King or Queen of Seafood...
Chef Scott Simpson with The Depot in Auburn is set to compete for the King or Queen of Seafood in New Orleans.(WSFA 12 News)

We don’t know what the rest of them will be making, but Chef Scott is gonna be tough to beat.

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