Preparing shrimp for the Shrimp Cook-off at Ocean Boulevard.

What’s the phrase? The show must go on? 

That certainly seemed to apply to the first ever Fish Taco Cook-off held at the Sea Ranch in Kill Devil Hills on Sunday—today.

The Fish Taco Cook-off was one of two cook-off on Sunday. The 5th Annual Shrimp Cook-off at Ocean Boulevard, a fundraiser for the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research, had been scheduled for Sunday all along and as an indoor event—let’s just say it was the more comfortable event to attend.

Originally scheduled for yesterday, a quick glance at a developing coastal storm convinced organizers Fish Taco event that a Saturday afternoon outdoor gathering was going to be iffy, so they moved it to Sunday. Then moved the starting time back an hour.

Given the weather, this was definitely an event for the Outer Banks hearty . . . wind from the northeast at 20, clouds and sun but mostly clouds and temperatures struggling to make it to 50.

Worth it though for the hearty hundred or so who did get there. 

Both events were serving up some absolutely amazing creations. Tough to pick out a favorite but we’ll try anyway . . .

The Shrimp Cook-off—The Black Pelican’s Asian influenced shrimp was really good, but a strong case could also be made for Chef Pok’s shrimp over an Asian slaw. Everything we tried was very good, but those two seemed to stand out.

At the Fish Taco Cook-off . . . have to go with fresh tuna taco from Ortega’z. Perfect blend of ingredients, but the key was the fresh tuna. How fresh? There was a freshly caught tuna at the booth with portions being taken from it as the chef prepared each taco.