Chef Pok (R) and his brother Art, of Pok’s Art, winner of the Taste of the Beach People’s Choice Award.

After four days of spectacular food, amazing events and a lot of fun, the 2015 Outer Banks Taste of the Beach came to an end Sunday night with the Grand Tasting at Pamlico Jack’s in Nags Head. The Grand Tasting is the perfect finish to what has become a showcase for the Outer Banks—not just the chefs, but the people who live here and the hospitality they offer.

There were some great events along the way. The BBQ and Wings Showdown went off without a hitch in spite of the rain—Plan B was a tent. The Chowder Cookoff featured a cool but sunny day and some wonderful soup. There was a blind wine tasting at Coastal Cravings in Duck, the wine hidden in brown paper bags; a popsicle making competition at Zen Pops in Kitty Hawk. 

But the big event is still the Grant Tasting with about 20 restaurants and chefs represented. The food was excellent, the wine and beer flowed and it was a good time.

At the end of the evening the big awards were handed out, and two of our personal favorites won big. Coastal Provisions in Southern Shores took home the Judges Award for their Bodie Island oysters with ginger—a local oyster with a subtle saltiness set off just right by a hint of ginger.

The People’s Choice Award went to Pok’s Art for Chef Pok and his brother Art’s ginger seared ahi tuna. An absolutely perfect balance of flavors.

The TOB has really become a signature event on the Outer Banks and in many ways the kickoff for the spring season and way to say good bye to the winter blues.