February 2017

The Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival Celebrates 10 Years of the Island’s Best Seafood and More

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: Michael Hrizuk

The Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival, presented by Publix, takes place throughout the island February 20-26, 2017. And even if you are not a huge seafood fan, there’s something planned to please everybody’s taste buds this year. The main event on Saturday returns to Shelter Cove Park for a day of great food, drinks and music at beautiful Shelter Cove, with a new VIP lounge, kid’s zone, artisan market, celebrity chef demonstrations, silent auction and music from the acclaimed Town Mountain bluegrass band and local favorites, Deas-Guyz.

The festival has expanded this year with new events, new partnerships and some important collaborations for Hilton Head Island and the state of South Carolina. According to Andrew Carmines, president of the David M. Carmines Foundation, the non-profit organization that produces the festival, “We are collaborating with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program on the new Coastal Culinary + Heritage Dinner and a series of festival learning experiences, Blue Ribbon/Blue Ocean cooking demonstrations. The collaboration is to highlight the importance of sustainable seafood. It’s a big deal, as an East Coast event, to have Seafood Watch a part of our festival this year. We’re truly honored to be learning best seafood practices from Monterey Bay County, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seafood Watch’s research team and their participating Blue Ribbon Task Force chefs.” Carmines added that the festival is also collaborating with the Gullah Celebration on several events for the first time this year and hopes to make both collaborative initiatives annual future efforts.

The tenth annual Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival, produced by the David M. Carmines Memorial Foundation, a 501©3 non-profit organization, helps raise money for other non-profit organizations. The Carmines family owns one of Hilton Head Island’s iconic seafood restaurants, Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks.

2017 Festival Highlights:
· Lowcountry Seafood Experiences on the Water and Cooking Demonstration Classes with Celebrity Guest Chefs, Monday, February 20-Friday, February 26.
· Coastal Culinary & Heritage Dinner, Thursday, February 23 (5:30 p.m. VIP Meet & Greet), 6:30-9:30 p.m., Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort
An inspired coastal heritage collaboration with the Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration and the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program, showcasing Gullah Geechee Chef BJ Dennis from Charleston, Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force chefs Matthew Beaudin (Monterey Bay Aquarium), William Dissen (The Market Place, Asheville, NC), Nico Romo (Charleston, SC), award-winning author and chef Nathalie Dupree and Hilton Head Island’s best chefs. The delicious interactive evening (walk around tasting format) with a purpose will explore African influence on coastal cuisine from South Carolina to Louisiana—and kick off a “West meets East” coastal alignment, designed to deepen the understanding of sustainable practices, Hilton Head Island to Monterey County and beyond.
· Pig Pickin’ & Oyster Roast, Friday, February 24, 6-9 p.m., Waddell Mariculture Ctr.

The quintessential Lowcountry celebration takes place waterfront this year, with award-winning local and celebrity guest chefs and some of the South’s most acclaimed pitmasters. Guests will enjoy local oysters, whole hogs, chicken, Brunswick stew and more—not to mention, mouth-watering, locally-sourced sides. Wash it all down with limitless brews, wines, signature cocktails and music by the Asheville, North Carolina-based bluegrass band, Town Mountain.

· Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival
· New VIP lounge, and advance discount ticket packages for the Seafood Festival, Saturday, February 25, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Shelter Cove Park

The family-friendly headlining event features area restaurants/chefs serving up seafood specialties and other tasty cuisine, a kid’s zone, a new curated South Carolina’s best artisan market, chef cooking demonstration stage and more.

Participating restaurants include the Black Marlin, The Crazy Crab, Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks, The Old Oyster Factory, Poseidon Coastal Cuisine & Rooftop Bar, Red Fish, Skull Creek Boathouse, American Culinary Federation and more. Live music by Deas-Guyz and Town Mountain. Adult Admission is $7 at the Gate; free for kids 10 and under. Food/beverage tickets available for purchase separately. New Saturday discount ticket packages along with several new food, beverage and admission ticket combination packages are available online.

· POP-UP Sunday Brunch at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks Sunday, February 26, 10:30 a.m.- 3 p.m.

The grand finale with Gullah friends to help celebrate Hilton Head Island heritage with active culinary stations, including seafood, raw bar, meat lover and vegetarian selections with Champagne, mimosas, bloody Mary bar, spirits tastings, beers and more—and some famous Gullah Gospel music.

The Festival is proud to announce Publix as its presenting sponsor and the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort as its official host hotel. For tickets and the most updated information on the 2017 Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival, please visit hiltonheadseafoodfestival.com. 

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