A bounty of delicious seafood is on the menu for Coast Day 2000. Set for Sunday, October 1, Coast Day is designed to illustrate the important role that the ocean plays in our lives -- providing food, energy, commerce, medicine, and recreation. Now in its 24th year, Coast Day is sponsored by the UD Sea Grant College Program and the UD Graduate College of Marine Studies.
"Coast Day provides us with a good opportunity to demonstrate innovative ways to incorporate seafood into our diet," says Doris Hicks, seafood technology specialist for the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service. "It's easy to see the importance of the ocean's fisheries in our lives."
Hicks organizes all the seafood-related activities at Coast Day, from the crab cake cook-off to the seafood chowder challenge. She also lines up area chefs for seafood cooking demonstrations, as well as local vendors who sell products ranging from crab bisque to live lobsters.
The Crab Cake Cook-Off features eight finalists who will begin preparing their crab cakes at 11 a.m. Visitors will be able to watch the contestants and sample a morsel or two. Judging takes place at noon, with winners to be announced at 1 p.m. The top prize includes $150, the coveted title of "Delaware's Best Crab Cakes," a plaque, and the opportunity to be a judge at next year's competition.
Also on the agenda is the Great Seafood Chowder Challenge -- a friendly competition between the First State Chefs' Association and the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association. From noon to 2:45 p.m., visitors will be invited to sample 2-ounce portions of the chowders and can then vote for their favorite. Clams, donated by Sea Watch International, Inc., of Milford, will be the featured seafood in the chowders. The First State Chefs' Association also will sell chowder for visitors to take home.
At 11:45 a.m., Edward J. Hennessey, Culinary Arts Instructor at Delaware Tech, will kick off a series of seafood cooking demonstrations with his "Quick and Easy Salmon Dishes." At 1 p.m., Guy Simmons, a 'certified clam cooker' from Mid-Atlantic Foods in Pocomoke, Maryland, will present "Classic Clams." Mid-Atlantic Foods will also have a booth in the seafood tent with free samples and products for sale. At 2:15 p.m., Matt Haley, from the Third Edition Saloon in Rehoboth, will prepare one of the house specialties. The seminars will conclude at 3:30 p.m. with Bob Davis, Executive Chef of the Lighthouse Sound Restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland, preparing his famous "Seafood Wraps."
Seafood ranging from crab cakes to fish and chips to seafood pizza and fajitas will be available for purchase throughout the day. Grotto Pizza, the Lamp Post Restaurant, LeCates' Lobsters, K & R Concessions, the Road Runner Cafe, Rehoboth Wings to Go, the Beach House, and the Extreme Cuisine Competition Cooking Team will have booths with their specialties.
Seafood-related activities will be located in the Windjammer Room of the Virden Center. Master Food Educators from UD's Cooperative Extension Program will assist visitors in trying their hand at activities such as identifying fish species, naming the different seafood utensils, and determining seafood quality.
Coast Day is Sunday, October 1, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at UD's Hugh R. Sharp Campus, 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes. Admission is free; parking is $2. For more information, contact the Marine Communications Office at (302) 831-8083 or visit our Web site at www.ocean.udel.edu.