Chefs, judges needed for Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-off

Coast Day organizers are seeking participants and judges for this year’s Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off which will take place on Sunday, Oct. 6, at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp campus in Lewes.

Interested participants are being invited to submit their original crabcake recipes by Saturday, Aug. 10. Eight finalists will be chosen and have the opportunity to compete at Coast Day, where they will be asked to prepare their dish for an in-person judging.

Recipes should be based around the preparation of 2 pounds of jumbo lump blue crab meat. The panel of judges will be ranking dishes based on taste, balance of meat, texture and originality. Blue crab meat will be provided at the final competition, but all other ingredients and cooking appliances must be provided by competitors.

First-, second- and third place winners will each be rewarded with cash prizes of $250, $150 and $100, respectively, for their achievements.

Additionally, the top three winners will have their recipes compiled in the official “Coast Day Crab Cake Cook Book,” a recipe book containing the recipes of competition finalists dating back to the very first competition in 1990.

Those interested in participating are being encouraged to fill out the entry form found on the Coast Day website at as soon as possible. Registration is limited to one entry per person. Entry forms can be e-mailed to or mailed to: Crab Cake Cook-Off; College of Earth, Ocean and Environment; Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service; 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes, DE 19958–1298.


Crabcake judges


Those wishing to participate as judges must be able to contemplate a crabcake’s taste, originality, balance of crab meat and texture. Judging entries are due by Friday, Aug. 30. Prospective judges must take the online trivia quiz, which consists of 20 multiple-choice questions, to be selected.

The questions cover a variety of topics, ranging from general knowledge of crabs to cooking, and even the history of the Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off itself. The highest-scoring entrant will earn a place on the panel, taste testing some of the best crabcake recipes Delaware has to offer.

Information and a link to the trivia contest are available on the official Coast Day website’s contests page at

Coast Day is held by the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean & Environment and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program on the first Sunday in October every year. It provides the public the chance to learn about the research and teaching under way at the college and the work Delaware Sea Grant is doing in the community.

Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with researchers, tour ships, try hands-on activities and attend presentations on a range of topics. Family-friendly activities will include an event-wide treasure hunt for answers to questions about the environment and a number of Coast Day exhibits. Children can meet sea-dwelling animals at the critter touch tanks.

Everyone can enjoy live music, exhibitor displays and seafood favorites showcased by local chefs at the Crab Cake Cook-Off and the Seafood Chowder Challenge.