Local chefs transforming canned goods into signature dishes

Published 11:39 am Thursday, December 6, 2018

“What’s for dinner?” Everyone can relate to this question, right? For many people, this question brings a sense of excitement and anticipation.

But for some Dare County residents, when budgets are tight and cupboards may be bare, this question can be a source of stress and frustration. They may even go without dinner completely.

So the Beach Food Pantry and thirteen local chefs are teaming up to bring awareness to hunger and food insecurity in our community and raise funds to combat it with the 5th Annual Holiday Chefs’ Challenge. The event will take place Thursday, December 13 from 6:30-10 p.m. at Duck Woods Country Club in Southern Shores.

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The competing chefs will have one hour to create a signature dish using items commonly distributed to clients at the Beach Food Pantry, including at least one canned good. Attendees vote for the People’s Choice awards, crowning a 2018 Prince or Princess of Canned Goods. Judges will also award their favorites based on a combination of factors including taste, presentation and creativity.

Tickets are $75 per person and include samples of each of the thirteen signature dishes, heavy hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. Silent and live auctions, as well as raffles will be held during the course of the evening. Tickets can be purchased at all Front Porch Café locations, as well as online and at the Beach Food Pantry.

Desserts will be provided by Claire’s Cakes OBX, Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint in Kill Devil Hills and OBX Frozen Yogurt in Southern Shores. Coffee will be provided by Virginia Gold.

The presenting sponsor for this year’s event is Surf Pediatrics and Medicine. Other sponsors include: Jo and Lyn Hurd; SuperWings; Three Dog Media; Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant; Outer Banks Visitors Bureau; Bayliss Boatworks; Outer Banks Blue; Seaside Physical Therapy; Shutters on the Banks; The John Yancey Inn; TowneBank; Duck’s General Store; Kitty Hawk Kites; Seaside Builders and Towne Insurance.

Beach Food Pantry is a nonprofit community-based organization that has been providing direct assistance and referral services to Dare County residents for over 27 years. Clients are provided with approximately two weeks of free groceries in times of personal crisis or emergency. Clients may visit up to four times per year. 4,110 individuals were served in 2017 and over 3,186 have already been served so far in 2018.

Participating chefs include:

  • Josh Grimm with Barefoot Bernie’s Tropical Grill and Bar in Kitty Hawk;
  • Nathan Robinson with Blue Moon Beach Grill in Nags Head;
  • Evan Hayes with Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar in Manteo;
  • Daniel Lewis with Coastal Provisions Oyster Bar and Wine Bar Café in Southern Shores;
  • Craig Readman with Heart Restaurant in Duck;
  • Brian Hardison with Jolly Roger Restaurant and Pirate Bar in Kill Devil Hills;
  • Sunij Rajthala with Masala Bay Grill in Point Harbor;
  • James Walker with Pamlico Jack’s Restaurant and Bar in Nags Head;
  • Wes Stepp with Red Sky Cafe in Duck;
  • Mike Blanchard with Steamer’s Restaurant and Catering in Southern Shores;
  • Renee Barritt with Sugar Creek Seafood Restaurant in Nags Head; and
  • Randolph Sprinkle with The Saltbox Café in Kill Devil Hills.

Beach Food Pantry is stocked by donations from local Food Lion stores; Fresh Market; Bimbo Bakeries and individual and business donations. Special events and grants are also necessary to sustain operations. The pantry is staffed mostly by volunteers and is graced by over 300 of them each year. Those interested are welcome to tour the facility.

For more information and to purchase tickets, call 252-261-2756 or visit www.bit.ly/5HCCtixs.