Restaurant: CoCo's Sunset Grille
Cuisine type: American, contemporary
Restaurant bio: Serving handmade drinks and seafood fresh off the dock, CoCo's Sunset Grille is tucked away along the shores of Lazaretto Creek on Tybee Island. Diners can enjoy the large patio with views of the river and marina and watch boats dock to drop off their day's catch to the kitchen. While owner/operator Tracy McMahon says the seafood is as fresh as it can get, she doesn't call CoCo's a seafood restaurant.
"People really love our burgers and wings, too ... Everything we make, we do really well."
McMahon adds that they offer a family-style Lowcountry boil on Friday nights, daily specials, great music and other special events listed on their website.
Chef: Christopher DeBorde
Chef bio: DeBorde grew up on Tybee Island and got his start in the restaurant business washing dishes at The Breakfast Club at 14 years old.
"While I was there, people told me I had the potential to be good, so I started taking it seriously."
At age 16, he started cooking at the Hunter House under chef Espy Geissler. After four years, he went to work at CafÃ© Loco and at age 22 was promoted to sous chef. At age 25, DeBorde became the head chef until the restaurant was sold in 2011. After the restaurant was taken over by McMahon, it became CoCo's Sunset Grille.
DeBorde says he's spent the past four years at CoCo's as head chef "trying to make tasty food and people happy."
Favorite dish: CoCo's Shrimp Cakes
Why: DeBorde created the shrimp cake recipe after "hours of tweaking and experimentation." It was first served as a daily special, but became so popular it replaced the crab cakes on the regular menu.
"It's one of my favorites because I like the spices and the Cajun flavoring and when you add the sauce to it, the flavors just come together."
COCO'S SHRIMP CAKES
2 pounds raw peeled shrimp, purÃ©ed
2 pounds raw peeled shrimp, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 minced red bell pepper
1 minced yellow onion
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Â½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cups bread crumbs
5 dashes Tabasco
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Form into 5 ounce patties. Heat sautÃ© pan to medium-high temperature. Add 1 Â½ tablespoon olive oil. Cook each patty for 2 Â½ to 3 minutes per side.