Chef Chris Braswell’s motto might well be, “Surf’s up!” He is the first to admit that the reason he moved to the Outer Banks was to surf. But during his nearly 20 years as the chef of Steamers, Braswell discovered a second love—cooking seafood. Fresh frying local soft shell crabs. Steaming spiced shrimp. Grilling the catch of the day from the Wanchese, North Carolina fishing fleet. So it’s no surprise that he is excited that fall is just around the corner. With the gorgeous weather and fish jumping it’s a glorious season for surfing and seafood.
“September is by far the best time of year on the Outer Banks. The waves and weather are glorious,” says Braswell. “The ocean is generally around 75 degrees and the air is in the 80s, so it’s not too hot. There is always surf with the tropics kicking into gear. I surf in the day and cook fresh seafood at night.”
As for the seafood as Braswell explains fall is really when the ocean comes to life. “The fishing just goes crazy, which provides us with lots of fresh local seafood right off the dock. Oysters, shrimp and Gulf Stream fish like yellow fin tuna, wahoo and mahi-mahi provide a great palette of items to create some excellent seafood dishes.”
Steamers will be open through the end of September except for Sundays, so there is plenty of time to enjoy Braswell’s famous fresh fried oyster sandwich and fresh fish of the day creations. The lines will be also be shorter, making a seat on the deck overlooking Currituck Sound easy to come by. Add cheaper hotel and rental rates to the mix and it’s an ideal time to hit the beach.
Even after Steamers brings in the deck furniture for the off-season, for anyone savvy enough to book a beach house in the later fall months, Steamers Personal Chef and Steamers Catering will be open for business and dishing up a variety of oysters on the half shell as well as Braswell’s special oyster stew, which is great for the cooler evenings.