This year, the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival marked its 10th year of celebrating sustainable seafood practices and the cooking community of the Lowcountry. The week long event was a family friendly excursion through the regions culture of food, music, and local seafood life.
The annual festival, hosted by the David M. Carmines Memorial Foundation and presented by Publix, is a venture to raise funds for the Island Recreation Scholarship Fund, Gullah Institute, Port Royal Sound Foundation, Coastal Discovery Museum and the Medical University of South Carolina.
This year’s festival was packed with highlights.
Master Classes, hosted by Bryan Furman, Frank Lee, William Dissen and Nico Romo, ushered in the festival week touching on topics from whole hog smoking to creating the essential shrimp and grits.
A Coastal Culinary & Heritage Dinner, hosted at the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort, was a collaboration with the Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration and Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program showcasing Gullah Geechee Chef BJ Dennis from Charleston, Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force chef Matthew Beaudin among a multitude of the Savannah and Hilton Head Island area’s best kitchen crews.
Friday night, the Pig Pickin’ & Oyster Roast, set along the beautiful Collation River at Waddell Mariculture Center, was the classic Lowcountry celebration: oysters, whole hogs, Brunswick stew, sausages, smoked chickens, booze, and bluegrass.
The week culminated with the family friendly headlining event that starred local restaurants serving seafood in several styles, a kids zone, live music, features area restaurants/chefs serving up seafood specialties and other tasty cuisine, a Kids Zone, chef demos, and an arts market. We can’t wait for next year’s celebration of seafood and the Lowcountry!