NEWS

Shrimp and Grits Festival raises $40,000 for Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Great weather, big crowds and awesome shrimp and grits were all on the menu for the third annual Shrimp and Grits Festival on Destin harbor Saturday afternoon. 

With the temps in the mid-60s, the festival was a sold-out event raising $40,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. 

Taylor Goode of the Boys and Girls Club serves up shrimp and grits to Todd and Chris Wilkinson of Niceville at Saturday's festival in Destin.

“We love giving back to the community,” said Chris Ruyan, organizer of the event along with Tyler Jarvis. 

“And it takes tons of volunteers,” Ruyan said to pull off the event held overlooking the harbor behind Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer in Destin. 

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People came in from everywhere to taste the shrimp and grits served up by local restaurants.  

Jeff and Nicole Moore drove over from Loxley, Alabama. 

Tyler Jarvis and Chris Ruyan joined forces to organize the third annual Shrimp and Grits Festival in Destin.

“We have friends that supply all the grits,” Jeff said. 

“But it’s always a fun event,” Nicole added, noting they have been to all three festivals. 

Todd and Christ Wilkinson of Niceville came over for the day to try out the shrimp and grits. Todd is also on the board of the Boys and Girls Club, so he was showing support for the organization. 

Cathy and Marc Hazel of Enterprise, Alabama, were standing in line at the Local Roots food truck. 

Cody Knowles of Local Roots serves up their recipe for shrimp and grits to Cathy and Marc Hazel of Enterprise, Alabama. Local Roots won third place People's Choice award.

“This is my Valentine present,” Cathy said of the trip to Destin and the festival. “It’s amazing … and the weather is perfect.”

People with tickets were able to taste the shrimp and grits from each of the 10 participating restaurants and then vote on the one they like best. Plus, there were judges that voted for the best as well. 

It was a sold out crowd for the third annual Shrimp and Grits Festival on Destin harbor, which raised $40,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast.

When it was all said and done, East Pass Seafood and Oyster House took first place in the People’s Choice.  

Second place People’s Choice went to Knife’s Edge Private Chef and Catering. 

Third place People’s Choice went to Local Roots. 

Best Overall was Knife’s Edge Private Chef and Catering. 

Chef Lynn Yoder of East Pass Seafood and Oyster House prepares the shrimp on the grill. East Pass won first place People's Choice Award.

Most creative went to Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, who served up their shrimp on a cake of grits. 

The best grits went to A&A Spice is Life.