03/04/2013 01:19 PM
BATON ROUGE – When the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy tee it up on the first hole at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2013 Masters Golf Tournament, LSU alumnus David Toms won’t be the only one representing Louisiana among golf’s most notable players.
John Shackelford, a graduate student in LSU’s Department of Food Science, will work as a lead chef for the event, manning the kitchen that serves some of the tournament’s corporate sponsors.
The Masters will be held Thursday, April 11 through Sunday, April 14 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.
A Baton Rouge native, Shackelford has worked in a number of the capital city’s finer restaurants. At Galatoire’s Bistro, where he worked under then-executive chef Roberto Bustillo Jr., Shackelford worked his way up from the pantry to running banquets and outside promotions. It was Bustillo, Shackelford said, who called upon his services for the golf tournament.
“When I got the phone call, he asked me if it was something I’d be interested in doing and I jumped at the opportunity,” Shackelford said.
When he arrives in Augusta, Shackelford said, he probably won’t get to do much of the cooking. Instead, his role will be more supervisory, making sure the kitchen runs properly and the food is of the highest quality.
Lucina Lampila, associate professor in the Department of Food Science and seafood technology specialist for Louisiana Sea Grant and the LSU AgCenter, is Shackelford’s graduate advisor. She said the opportunity to work at Augusta will get Shackelford a first, second and final look for jobs once he graduates.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for him,” she said.
While Shackelford said that working at Augusta is the chance of a lifetime, it isn’t the only thing keeping him busy. In March, he will lead LSU’s Research Chefs Association team at a national competition in Charlotte, N.C., where the group has a chance to take home a $5,000 grand prize.
When he’s not on the road, Shackelford researches new ways of processing crawfish, looking at alternative methods to package, cook and flavor the Louisiana delicacy.
Shackelford earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from LSU. He said he enjoys combining his passion for food with his interest in science. He hopes to translate those interests into a job in a research and development in a test kitchen, cooking up new ways to please the palate.
The LSU Department of Food Science serves members of Louisiana’s thriving food industry – from processors, farmers and fishermen to homeowners, restaurants and schools, to name a few. As one of the LSU AgCenter’s 11 academic departments or schools which exist in conjunction with the LSU College of Agriculture, the department’s dedicated faculty prepares students for success, focus their research and outreach initiatives to help the food industry flourish and, in turn, stimulate economic development. More information is available at www.lsu.edu/foodscience.
Since its establishment in 1968, the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at LSU, is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 33 programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit www.laseagrant.org.
Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013