The Delaware coastal region is well known for the savory taste of its fresh seafood, and once again Coast Day will feature a variety of seafood culinary presentations, as well as the wildly popular crab cake cook-off contest. Sponsored annually by the University of Delaware’s College of Marine and Earth Studies and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, Coast Day will be held, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 1, on UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.
Under the cook-off tent, the 17th annual Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off will begin at 11 a.m. Don't miss the excitement as the eight finalists prepare their own special recipes in their quest to be judged the makers of Delaware's best crab cakes.
Judging will take place at noon, and the winners will be announced at 1 p.m. The judges will be Clare Vanderbeek, president of Vanderbeek Adventures LLC, an award-winning marketing and travel professional; Doug Morrow of Sea Watch International, a Milford-based specialty seafood company; and Ann Haley, winner of the 2005 Coast Day crab cake contest.
Culinary presentations will begin at 1 p.m., with all of the seafood seminars held in the Pilot Room of the Virden Center. First on the menu of presenters will be Kelly Ellis-Foultz, the chef and owner of Kelly’s Kitchen, which provides personal chef services in clients’ homes, with Mediterranean paella.
At 2:15 p.m., there will be a joint presentation featuring personal chefs Lisa Brisch of Dinner Thyme and Lynn Hanna of It’s Simply Delicious. Brisch will demonstrate how to make seared scallops with tomatoes and pesto and Hanna will create her signature shrimp appetizer, made with shrimp, a vanilla bean sauce and port wine reduction. Betty Burleigh, a personal chef with Dinner Is Served, will present South of France Fish at 3:30 p.m.
"This year, we are very excited to have three outstanding seafood seminars featuring four wonderful personal chefs," says Doris Hicks, seafood specialist with the University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service and organizer of all the seafood-related activities at Coast Day.
In addition to the other events, Coast Day’s annual Great Seafood Chowder Challenge will feature a friendly competition between the First State Chefs Association and the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association. Visitors will be invited to sample a 2-ounce portion of each association's chowder and then vote for their favorite.
At 1 p.m., the Delaware Bay Oyster Appetizer Competition will be held in a tent outside the Virden Center. The event is sponsored by the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary’s Delaware Bay Oyster Restoration Project.
Don't forget to bring your appetite—a large variety of seafood will be available for purchase, including crab cakes, seafood soups and chowders, and crab-cake and soft-shell crab sandwiches. Non-seafood items will also be available.
A number of businesses, industries and organizations are sponsoring special exhibits and events at Coast Day, including the Cape Gazette in Lewes; the Delaware River and Bay Authority, the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation; Delmarva Power; DuPont-Clear Into the Future; Maritrans Operating Company in Philadelphia; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, D.C.; Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and Delaware Bay Oyster Restoration Project; Sunoco, Inc., in Philadelphia; and the Water Resources Agency of the University of Delaware Institute for Public Administration.
Admission to Coast Day 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.