University of Delaware
Tasty cakes: Chef David Brown shows off his entry in the annual contest.

Cooks get crabby

Enter your recipe to compete for coveted title of 'Delaware's Best Crab Cakes'


1:25 p.m., June 6, 2011--Enter your recipe by Friday, Aug. 5, to be considered for one of eight finalist positions in the 22nd Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off. Finalists will compete for cash prizes, a plaque, and an opportunity to return as a judge next year. The contest will be held at Coast Day, Sunday, Oct. 2, at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del.

Sponsored by the Delaware Sea Grant College Program and the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, Coast Day is an annual educational festival and showcase for Delaware’s rich marine resources. The event, which attracts more than 10,000 visitors each year, has won state and national awards for its efforts to promote environmental education and stewardship.

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The event is an opportunity for both professional and amateur cooks to celebrate the blue crab, one of Delmarva’s most valuable seafood resources.

“It’s really an opportunity for people to be creative,” said Doris Hicks, seafood technology specialist for Delaware Sea Grant and organizer of the cook-off. “One tip I can offer is that it’s important for your recipe to complement the crabmeat without overpowering it.”

All crab cakes must be made from 100 percent blue crab meat. Each finalist will receive two pounds of jumbo lump blue-crab meat to use the day of the competition. All other ingredients and cooking utensils are the contestants’ responsibility. Judging will be based on originality, predominance of crabmeat, taste, and texture.

Download the complete set of contest rules and an entry form, or contact Delaware Sea Grant at 302-645-4346 or for a printed version. 

You can see the award-winning recipes from the contest’s first 17 years in our Coast Day Crab Cake Cookbook. The booklet costs $6 and will be available at Coast Day. You also can order one online or by calling 302-831-8083.

Article by Elizabeth Boyle

Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

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