Simply Southern's Grant Tate dishes out his Southern Stuffed Collards.

One of the most remarkable aspects of living on the Outer Banks is the extraordinary spirit to community—a real sense that we’re in this together and that there is always someone there to offer a helping hand.

That spirit was on full display at Friday evening’s Beach Food Pantry’s 4th Annual Chef’s Challenge.

Held this year at the Duck Woods Country Club in Southern Shores, the challenge brings together some of the best Outer Banks chefs in a contest where they must use at least one canned food from the Beach Food Pantry’s shelves.

What the chef’s manage to come up with is absolutely remarkable. Whether it’s Coastal Provisions Dan Lewis and his Green Eggs and Spam or Outer Bean Juice and Java's Necla Rader’s Chickpea Veggie Marsala over Cumin Rice, the range of foods and the imagination seems endless.

 The winner by acclamation and votes this year was Renee Barritt of Sugar Creek Seafood Restaurant.

Sugar Creek had two offerings—a rich, beautiful crab dip and a spicy roasted pepper tomato soup. Served in a small plastic replica of a soup can, the taste was marvelous and the presentation outstanding.

Everyone, of course, had a favorite food this year—although clearly most of the people at Duck Woods preferred Sugar Creek. However, we do want to mention the Stuffed Pumpkin Ravioli with Duck Comfit. It didn’t win, but it got our vote.

Very well attended, the Chef’s Challenge is the main fundraiser for the Outer Banks Food Pantry. Providing free groceries to families experiencing a temporary crisis, the organization is consistent with a local attitude that reaches out to community members in need.