Dangerfield repeats as Beaufort’s shrimp and grits recipe champ
For the second year in a row, Jason Dangerfield of Cooking Just for Fun took home the trophy for the best shrimp and grits recipe at the fourth annual Bridges Prep Block Party.
Dangerfield and his daughter Lily won the People’s Choice Award earlier this month, followed by second-place winner Anita Singleton Prather of Aunt Pearlie Sue Singleton’s Gullah Gal Cake Catering.
Third place brought a tie between Jordan Madding of 131 BBQ and student Henry Lovett, who took top honors at the Beaufort County School District’s Future Chef competition.
For Dangerfield, cooking is an adventure, every dish a new discovery.
“My recipes are always different,” he said. “I don’t ever cook the same meal twice. I look at recipes as broad suggestions. I really don’t believe there is any magic in exact quantities or ingredients — with anything I cook, it is always top notch ingredients, lots of love and creativity.”
So what is the secret to his success at the Bridges Prep Shrimp and Grits Cook-off?
“As with all cooking, starting with great ingredients such as fresh shrimp and being creative with how you put things together and tasting a lot along the way,” Dangerfield said. “Oh — and butter, lots of butter and heavy cream.”
Working beside him at both cook-offs has been his daughter Lily, an eighth-grader at Lowcountry Montessori who is headed to Beaufort High in the fall.
“Lily helps keep me reminded that cooking should be fun and she helps keep the events entertaining,” Dangerfield said. “She also did our decorating this year with a patriotic theme.”
Dangerfield also learns by tasting lots of other recipes. He made a point to try what others were cooking.
“I tasted a lot of the dishes this year and there was some great competition this year. One that stood out was Jason from the new Smokehouse Restaurant in Port Royal,” Dangerfield said.
“He had the booth next to us and he had a great Shrimp and Brown Gravy dish. He and I had a great time cutting up. Having fun and cooking and getting to make new friends like him is what it’s all about.”
Sea Eagle Market donated fresh shrimp for the chefs and Piggly Wiggly donated the grits. Bridges Prep’s parent teacher organization produced event and it is the key fundraising event for the school.
Originally from Moncks Corner, Dangerfield and his wife moved to Beaufort in 1996 with the Navy. Most of his catering is done to help nonprofits raise money.