Day At The Docks And Shrimp And Grits Throwdown

Date: September 14, 2018

Location: Hatteras, NC 27943

Shrimp and Grits is the focus of this year’s Seafood Throwdown, one of the headlining events of Day at the Docks, A Celebration of Hatteras Island Watermen. New for 2017, the mystery seafood is named in advance and North Carolina chefs, food writers and food gurus will be on hand to judge the plates of the just-landed local shrimp dishes prepared by 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. Also new this year, the chefs are making samples for the audience to taste.

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.

Begin the weekend on Friday afternoon in historical Sticky Bottom, across from Lee Robinson General Store, for the Taste of North Carolina. Nosh, sip, and dance under the trees from 4 pm until sunset. North Carolina producers, cookbook authors and craft beer and wine makers will be on hand to share their crafts while local musicians keep the beat.

Continue the evening up the street with a thoughtful and entertaining presentation about the lives and livelihoods of Outer Banks watermen. Talk of the Villages: Reflections on Fishing as a Living, will featurethe first-ever viewing of a photo documentary by award winning local photographer Daniel Pullen as well as an interactive conversation with local, commercial fishermen.

Beginning at 6:30, this free event will feature opportunities to view Pullen’s new, traveling art show as well as to talk with local watermen about their work and the joys and frustrations of the seafood industry. Perfect for art lovers, cerebral foodies, historians and those who just want to know more about the food on their plate. Be sure to hear the opening remarks.


Talk of the Villages will be held at a new location this year, in the Hatteras Island Civic Association’s Community Room, 57689 Highway 12, in the heart of Hatteras Village, behind the library.

Saturday is a day full of events for food and fishing lovers of all ages. For folks who like to eat and cook seafood, be sure to make it to one of the most popular locations of the day, the Seafood Throwdown tent. At 1:30, watch students of Cape Hatteras High School culinary teacher Evan Ferguson demonstrate an easy and tasty seafood recipe.

The main event, the Shrimp and Grits Throwdown will begin at 2 pm. This year, there is a new spin on the annual event; the mystery fish is being revealed beforehand. Watch two North Carolina inland chefs cook up fresh, local shrimp with stone-ground grits, live, under the tent, battling heat, wind and occasionally rain. Celebrity food judges will decide who made the tastiest offering and will award the winning plate. You might even get a taste; limited samples will be available.

If acquiring a new recipe isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities through out the day; you can learn how to clean a fish with the good folks from Oden’s Dock or try your hand at the Concrete Marlin Contest.  Professional captains and mates vie against each other and time as they \"hook\" and \"gaff\" a concrete cylinder that replicates the weight of a fighting marlin.  It has become so popular that a new division, the Concrete Sailfish, has been added for the younger fishermen.

Free health screenings will be also available this year for fishermen and their families, from 11 am until 4 pm in the Education Tent.

Be sure to stick around for the Blessing of the Fleet at Hatteras Harbor Marina in which a historic shad boat will place a wreath on the water to honor watermen who have \"crossed the bar\" for their final time.