A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

9.26- Seafood Chili

Mike's Seafood Chili
The annual Chili Cookoff was held today on the Tiki-Bar deck at the Oriental Marina & Inn. The cookoff is a fundraiser for Oriental's historic Old Theater, a really cool 1940's movie theater that has been converted into something of a performing arts venue... though old movies still occasionally grace the screen.

Tiki/Toucan cook and bartender Mike's entry was Seafood Chili made with local clams, crabs, mussels and shrimp from Oriental's own Fulcher Seafood Co.

I am sure my Texas friends and readers will cringe at this one... I myself could not muster the courage to sample the Seafood Chili, not being a big seafood fan (particularly concerning the clams and mussels.)

Once again this year, there was not a single example of "real" chili in the running... All of them included tomatoes/tomato sauce, various kinds of beans, and ground beef... two entries also included ground pork. After living 20+ years in South Texas, I am always surprised that other places in the South serve "Yankee-style chili" as the norm.

None of today's entries would've qualified as chili by Texas standards, but some of them tasted pretty good for whatever they were.

My favorite came from Eric Stickrath's "Broad Street Grill" ... Eric used Vidalia onions to give it a sweetness (but without refined sugar, which is often used in the cookoff chilis, cringe again) and contrasted that with chipotle flavor (although, alas, it came from a bottle of Tabasco-brand chipotle sauce rather than actual chipotle chiles.)

Eric got my vote for best, but failed to place in the contest.

This being a fishing village, Mike's Local Seafood Chili was a favorite, winning second place.

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