cookoff-logo22nd-(1)Shrimp salad, shrimp and bacon, shrimp ceviche, fried shrimp, grilled shrimp, barbecued shrimp, shrimp tostadas, peel and eat shrimp, pan-fried shrimp, blackened shrimp, etc. These were just some of the contestant entries at the 22nd Annual World’s Championship Shrimp Cook-Off hosted by the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce that took place on November 1st, 2015.

96821093_scaled_181x144The day was beautiful, sunny and quite hot, but that didn’t prevent a hoard of RGV Foodies from showing up. The place was packed, and I mean packed. I was fortunate enough to visit all of the booth contestants and tried almost every single one of the entries. As far as the contest itself, there were professional and amateur divisions.

The prevalent theme was “Shrimp and Bacon”, but by looking at the winners, I can safely say that the chefs that’d taken a less traveled route were surprisingly rewarded. My personal favorite was the ‘Shrimp Salad’ entry by Cuevas Trawlers for taste. For presentation, it was house. wine. & bistro. DSC_0130_983It was just beautiful. I really and truly enjoyed every single morsel presented to my taste buds. You can never go wrong with Texas-fresh wild caught Gulf shrimp.

It’s worth mentioning that the crowd also enjoyed some great music, which included the amazing Port Isabel High School Mariachi Plata.

Late in the day after the last shrimp had been fried, the winners were announced:

Professional Division:  

  • 1st Place: Hilton Garden Inn
  • 2nd Place: house. wine. & bistro.
  • 3rd Place: A tie between PadreRitaGrill and Las Tortugas
  • In addition, PadreRitaGrill received the Showmanship Award

Amateur Division:

  • 1st Place: Sutherland’s
  • 2nd Place: Cuevas Trawlers
  • 3rd Place: Blue Marlin

Remember, friends don’t let friends eat imported shrimp!

Till next time,
Sancho Panza