Denise Vansant of Rehoboth Beach was among the finalists in last year’s Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off. The deadline to enter this year’s competition is Aug. 9.

Time to get cookin'

Aug. 9 is deadline to enter recipes in 2013 Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off


3:12 p.m., June 24, 2013--Cooks who think they make the best crab cakes in Delaware can compete to prove it by submitting their recipes to the 2013 Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off. 

Eight finalists will be chosen to square off for cash prizes, a plaque and an opportunity to return as a judge next year. The contest will be held at Coast Day on Sunday, Oct. 6, at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del.

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Sponsored by the Delaware Sea Grant College Program and the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, Coast Day is a fun and educational event for the whole family that celebrates Delaware’s marine resources. The award-winning festival attracts thousands of visitors each year and promotes environmental education and stewardship.

The Crab Cake Cook-Off is a favorite food activity at Coast Day and provides an opportunity for both professional and amateur cooks to celebrate the blue crab — one of Delaware’s most valuable seafood ingredients with an average commercial catch of 50,000 bushels every year.

“Don’t be concerned if you are not a professional cook,” said Doris Hicks, seafood technology specialist for Delaware Sea Grant and organizer of the Cook-Off. “First-timers have won before and non-professionals do just as well as the professionals.”

She also had some advice to give to potential contestants.

“The judges change every time,” Hicks said. “Sometimes they are open to all sorts of ingredients, and other times they just want the traditional, tried-and-true crab cake. Stick with your own original recipe that everyone you know loves and have fun.”

All crab cakes must be made from 100 percent blue crab meat. Each finalist will receive 2 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.

Recipes need to be submitted by Friday, Aug. 9. Download the contest rules and entry form or contact Delaware Sea Grant at 302-645-4297 or for a printed version. 

About the Delaware Sea Grant College Program

The University of Delaware was designated as the nation’s ninth Sea Grant College in 1976 to promote the wise use, conservation and management of marine and coastal resources through high-quality research, education and outreach activities that benefit the public and the environment. UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment administers the program, which conducts research in priority areas ranging from coastal hazards to seafood safety.

Article by Andrew Cooper

Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

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