Coast Day provides a delectable opportunity to showcase seafood in a variety of different ways — from seafood culinary demonstrations to the annual crab cake cook-off. This year, Coast Day will be held on Sunday, October 7, at the University of Delaware’s Lewes campus. Now in its 25th year, Coast Day is sponsored by UD’s Sea Grant College Program and the Graduate College of Marine Studies.
Culinary presentations will begin at 11:45 a.m. with Charlene Zinnel, Culinary Arts Instructor at Easton High School and 1997 Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association “Chef of the Year.” She will discuss how to prepare sea bass in flavored water in a presentation titled “Sea Bass all’ Aqua Pazza.” Following Zinnel, Mark Husong, Executive Chef at Striper Bites in Lewes, will show how to make the seasoning for different types of blackened fish in “Bites of Blackened Fish.” Gunnar Roe and Jimmy Snyder from The Grill Meister, Inc., in Galena, Maryland, will demonstrate seafood smoking techniques in “A Taste of the Shore.” And, last but not least, Doris Hicks, seafood technology specialist for the UD Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service, will prepare locally grown freshwater shrimp in “Delaware Does Shrimp.”
For the twelfth year in a row, finalists in the crab cake cook-off will use their own “special” recipe in hopes of making “Delaware’s Best Crab Cakes.” The finalists, who were selected from entries throughout the region, will begin preparing their crab cakes at 11 a.m. Judging takes place at noon, and the winners will be announced at 1 p.m. The judges will be Gail Koller, first-place winner in last year’s cook-off; Marilyn Marter, food writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer; and Anne Graham, food columnist for the Cape Gazette.
Visitors also will be invited to sample 2-ounce portions of the chowders and then asked to vote for their favorite in the annual Seafood Chowder Challenge — a friendly competition between three local chefs’ organizations. This year, the First State Chefs Association, the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association, and the Mid-Atlantic Chefs and Cooks Association will be participating. Clams, donated by Mid-Atlantic Foods in Pocomoke City, Maryland, will be the featured seafood in this year’s chowders. All three chefs’ associations will sell chowder for visitors to take home.
Be sure to bring your appetite — a large variety of seafood will be available for purchase including crab cakes, fresh lobsters, seafood tacos, seafood soups and chowders, clam and oyster fritters, English-style fish ’n chips, shrimp salad, crab-cake and soft-shell crab sandwiches, seafood platters, and other non-seafood items. Vendors will include The Lamp Post Restaurant, LeCates Lobsters, the Road Runner Cafe, the Beach House Restaurant, Copps Seafood, the Extreme Cuisine Competition Cooking Team, Just Dogs, Festival of Foods, Fast Freddys Frank’s, the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company, and the Deborah Heart and Lung Foundation.
“Coast Day is the perfect day for seafood lovers of all ages and walks of life,” says Doris Hicks who organizes all the seafood-related activities at Coast Day. “Not only can you taste the bounty of our oceans and bays, but at the same time learn many different ways of preparing seafood.”
A number of businesses and industries are sponsoring special exhibits and events at Coast Day, including Tidewater Utilities, Motiva, Conectiv, SPI Pharma Group, and Oceanport Industries. Admission to this educational and fun-filled event is free; parking is $2. For more information, contact the UD Marine Public Education Office at (302) 831-8083 or visit the Coast Day Web site at www.ocean.udel.edu/CoastDay.