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EAT – Crab, crab and more crab

Last week I was a judge at the Mendocino Crab & Wine Days. For the past 11 years, local chefs have entered their crab cakes in a cook-off to be chosen best of the best. In a separate contest, local wineries enter the bottling they think pairs best with pure crab meat (look for this in a later post).  It’s all Dungeness crab, caught locally off the coast of Mendocino. We blind tasted our way (chef, restaurant and ingredients not identified) through 15 crab cakes and awarded scores for taste, presentation and originality.  The best cakes really honored the crab — nice chunks of crab meat, simple preparation with no one ingredient overpowering the crab. The judges for the most part were in agreement on which crab cakes worked and which ones didn’t.  We preferred the less fussy presentations, and the cakes that had more crab than filler. The winners…