Dockside earns blue ribbon for chowder
October 31, 2012By Liz Biro
For the past year, chef Scott Grimm has quietly tweaked the Dockside restaurant menu. His subtle presence made a big splash when Grimm won best in show at the inaugural Taste of Wrightsville Beach food and wine festival.
A rich, meaty, creamy crab and corn chowder earned Grimm the judges choice award at the Oct. 27 event that was moved from outdoors into Blockade Runner Resort because of effects from Hurricane Sandy.
The people’s choice award went to 22 North chef Brent Poteat and team, which served shrimp and grits as well as pecan sticky buns.
The chowder is just one of many soups Grimm serves at Dockside, 1308 Airlie Road. It’s on the menu daily along with Brunswick stew and roasted tomato basil soup, the chef said. Additionally, Grimm each day serves three soup specials: one with seafood, one with meat or chicken and a vegetarian option.
Today, Grimm said he’ll serve chili in preparation for an upcoming chili cook-off and bourbon tasting Dec. 2 at Fibber’s Public House, 1610 Pavillion Place. The cook-off will benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises money to help find a cure for childhood cancers.
Grimm said he started as a Dockside dishwasher in 1997. He moved on to cook at Wilmington’s late Harvest Moon fine-dining restaurant and then attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales’ former Charleston, S.C., campus. He started as a prep cook at Charleston’s respected, fine-dining Peninsula Grill and in a year worked his way up to grill/saute cook, a key position in professional kitchens.
“I worked for some really great people and really studied hard,” Grimm said.
Later, Grimm worked for well-known chef Sean Brock at Capital Grill, part of Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. Brock has since become Charleston’s favorite son thanks to his restaurants Husk and McCrady’s.
“I sucked up every bit if knowledge I could from him,” Grimm said of Brock. “Once working for him any amount of time, any chef wants his own game.”
That desire brought Grimm back to Wilmington. He was tending bar at Dockside when he decided to try helming the kitchen there rather than pursue his own restaurant.
Besides soups, Grimm is especially proud of his shrimp and grits, seasoned with wine and Worcestershire sauce. His tuna appetizer “Fish and Chips,” is one of Dockside’s most popular dishes. Thinly sliced seared ahi tuna is served with blue corn chips shaved and pico di gallo.
“We served 6,500 of them in the last five months,” Grimm said. “I know because we just counted.”