Photo by Bob Bielk, Asbury Park Press

Photo by Bob Bielk, Asbury Park Press

I know this is a DC food blog, and as such there are certain topics you expect us to talk about on a regular basis (DC restaurants, cooking, food-related news and gossip from around the region, etc.).

But I wanted to take a second and brag about something.  The fact that it’s kinda related to food is a help, sure, but I’d probably brag about it anyway.

Yesterday, the twenty-third annual New Jersey Sandcastle Contest (warning: the site automatically plays a video set to some rockin’ guitar as soon as it opens…keep it classy, Jersey) was held on the beach in Belmar, New Jersey.  Over the course of four hours, competing teams sculpt elaborate displays ranging from a shark eating a diver (a pair of flippers coming out of Jaws’ mouth complete the effect) to a fishing boat shaped out of sand and manned by a toddler (appropriately titled “Little Man and the Sea”).  All told, there were more than three hundred entries this year and 12,000 people attended the event, according to this report from and an article in the local Asbury Park Press.

Every year, this contest draws some serious sculpting talent and some disturbingly creative minds.

This year, I’m proud to say, the most disturbed creative of those minds belonged to my brother.  With a team that included my sister, my brother-in-law and a few of my cousins, he put together a display they called “Shell’s Kitchen.”  It featured a cook-off between Rachael Ray (a giant manta ray with drizzled sand for her frizzy hair) and Bobby Fillet (a big fish).  With dry ice to represent steam and smoke in the cooking utensils, the overall effect was undeniable:

They won Best on the Beach! 

How cool is that?