Day at the Docks
Day at the Docks will be on Saturday, September 15, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the waterfront in Hatteras village. The free event celebrates the working traditions of the waterfront with seafood cooking demonstrations, fishing boat and gear displays, fishing industry skills contests and competitions, local seafood cooking competitions, music, author readings, a chowder cook-off contest, and plenty of activities for children. Special guest appearances this year will include Dave Densmore, a fisher-poet from Kodiak, Alaska, and Niaz Dorry, director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance based in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
The day will conclude with a Blessing of the Fleet and a lawn dance with live music. Additional activities are planned for Thursday, Friday and Sunday. For more information, visit www.dayatthedocks.org .
Two Local Chefs, One Secret Seafood Ingredient
The Seafood Throw-Down will be held on the main stage at Day at the Docks on Saturday, September 15, at the Hatteras village harbor.
Two local chefs will compete in a cooking competition inspired by local seafood. Each chef can bring their favorite cooking vessels and utensils, presentation plates and three of their favorite ingredients. They also can bring a sous chef or assistant.
The secret seafood ingredient will be revealed only when the competition starts, and chefs will then have one hour to select NC produce and herbs from the throw-down pantry, and prepare, cook and plate their dishes for judges. Dishes will be judged on taste, originality, presentation, and use of the entire animal.
Bob Barris, a real estate broker with Hatteras Realty who also teaches Carolina Coastal Cooking classes at the company’s Avon office and who once worked as a commercial fisherman, will be the throw-down emcee.
Jeff Aiken, owner of Jeffrey’s Seafood in Hatteras, will join Bob on the stage to talk about what it takes to get seafood from the water to the dinner table while the chefs are preparing their dishes.
Hatteras Island commercial fishermen will donate the secret seafood ingredient for the throw-down.
Produce and herbs will be donated by the Conetoe Family Life Center. Conetoe, population 365, a small town on the eastern edge of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, has the highest rate of diabetes of North Carolina’s 100 counties, and it ranks 96 in overall health outcomes. In 2007, Reverend Richard Joyner and other Conetoe Missionary Baptist Church members started the Conetoe Family Life Center which provides mentorship, resources, and after-school programs to the town’s youth. In its search for a project that would inspire and educate youth, the Center piloted a two-acre community garden. The outcomes were promising: youth had the opportunity to learn science, math, and food production skills, regular volunteers started losing weight and cooking more meals at home, and community members took interest and began sharing their farming knowledge and under-used farm equipment.
In the past few years, the program has grown into a full-fledged vegetable farm of more than fifteen acres, with partner plots elsewhere in town and in nearby counties. The farm grows produce and makes honey for farmers’ markets in Rocky Mount, Raleigh, Tarboro, and Greenville and for the local Piggly Wiggly. Income from the project goes into scholarship funds for the youth members, and in the spring of 2012, the first set of the program’s alumni graduated from college.
Reverend Joyner and garden youth volunteers plan to attend Day at the Docks to learn more about commercial fishing and seafood harvesting. Hatteras Island commercial fishermen plan to supply the Conetoe folks with iced and packed fish to share with the church’s congregation back home.
The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) in Gloucester, Mass. is lending organizational support and equipment as a throw-down sponsor. NAMA sponsors throw-downs at many New England venues, including farmers’ markets, the New England Aquarium, and the Cape Cod Maritime Museum. Day at the Docks is the first venue outside of New England where NAMA is sponsoring a throw-down.