Beachside Bistro at the Grand Tasting serving Sweet & Savory French Toast with Duck Confit.

If there is a kickoff for the Outer Banks spring season it has to be the annual Taste of the Beach. As much a tour of the northern Outer Banks as a culinary wonder, if there is a complaint it’s that there is too much to do.

From Corolla to Manteo there are cooking demonstrations, wine pairings, special lunches, dinners and breakfasts—an amazing demonstration of the skill and expertise of Outer Banks chefs.

The problem, of course, is there are only so many hours in a day and only so many calories that can be consumed in a given period of time—not that there isn’t a certain amount of excess over that period of time.

It all ends with the Chef’s Grand Tasting, held this year at Port O’ Call in Kill Devil Hills. With 18 restaurants on hand offering a total of 37 dishes, the best advice on how to survive the day is take two bites of everything that’s offered—and that will still lead to calorie overload.

The problem is it’s all so good suggesting anyone stop at two bites is like telling a chocoholic to not finish the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake from Good Winds Wine & Seafood—it’s theoretically possible, but not likely to happen.

Personal favorite? Had to be the Buttermilk Fried Duck Skewers from Saltbox Cafe . . . but that’s just one person’s opinion and there were so many close seconds that they can’t all be listed.