August 30, 2017

Shrimp Cook-Off Brings Two Named Chefs to Hatteras Island
For Day At The Docks Throwdown Challenge

Shrimp and Grits is the recipe for this year’s Seafood Throwdown, one of the headlining events at the 2017 Day at the Docks, a celebration of Hatteras Island watermen. New for 2017, the mystery seafood is named in advance – fresh, local, just landed, NC shrimp and North Carolina chefs, food writers and food gurus will be on hand to judge the plates of the shrimp dishes prepared by two visiting celebrity chefs.

Chef Tom Armstrong of Vinnie’s Steakhouse in Raleigh and Chef Jay Pierce, author of the cook book Shrimp, and Executive Chef at Traveled Farmer in Greensboro will be the visiting guest chefs. Both are bringing their appreciation of locally caught seafood to Hatteras for this light hearted competition that is educational, fun and delicious.  Armstrong was a judge for last year’s competition, won by Scott Surratt, Executive Chef at Café Pamlico.  New this year, the chefs are making enough samples for the audience to taste.

The Shrimp and Grits Throwdown begins at 2 pm under the big tent at the center of Day At The Docks activity.  Those in the audience can watch two North Carolina inland chefs cook up fresh shrimp with stone-ground grits, live, under the tent, battling heat, wind and occasionally rain. Celebrity food judges decide who makes the tastiest offering and will award the winning plate.  This year celebrity judges are:  Eduardo Chavez, 2015 winner of the Seafood Throwdown and owner of Eduardo’s Taco Truck in Ocracoke; Chef Ricky Moore, owner of Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham; Elizabeth Wiegand, author of the Outer Banks Cook Book; Justise Robbins of Chef and the Farmer; and Margo Knight Metzger of Our State Magazine.  So each of the judges know good food and fresh shrimp which should make for a fun event with bragging rights going to either Armstrong in Raleigh or Pierce in Greensboro.

The Seafood Challenge is sponsored by Outer Banks Catch, NC Watermen Foundation NC Sea Grant, The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Outer Banks SeaSalt, and Jeffrey’s Seafood. Emcees for the event are Amy Gaw and Bob Burrus, who have shared these duties since the start of the competition. 

Presented by Hatteras Island Civic Association, Day at the Docks is held each fall in front of the marinas in Hatteras Village. A great way to experience snapshots of the the lives of commercial fishermen and their families, the festival is perfect for families who love to learn while they play. Also a dream weekend for fans of eating fresh seafood, glimpsing history and good community, this year, the free, two-day event will be held on September 15 and 16.

The once one-day event began as a way to celebrate the "Spirit of Hatteras" when the village recovered from Hurricane Isabel in 2003 as an intact community, anchored by the commercial and charter fishermen.  The now annual event is a confirmation of the strength of community, heritage and living traditions of the waterman. The celebration features seafood cooking demos, fishing boats and gear, fishing industry skills contests and competitions, live music and ‘life on the water’ games for children.

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