Flavor, NC: Brunswick Shrimp

by | Sep 11, 2015

Each month we take a look at local restaurants, farms and farmers markets featured on episodes of UNC-TV’s Flavor, NC. This week, we highlight an episode from season 4 and a visit to Brunswick County on the North Carolina coast.

“The ocean – a source of endless summer vacations…” said Host Lisa Prince, “and home of my favorite seafood, shrimp.” Shrimp must be a lot of people’s favorite seafood, since the average person eats about four pounds of shrimp each year.  In North Carolina, fisherman usually catch white shrimp in the spring and fall and brown shrimp in the winter.

In this episode, Lisa goes out on the Miss Taylee, a shrimp boat owned by fisherman Wayne Thompson to learn how shrimp are caught. She then visits with Jackie Varnum of Garland Seafood, the oldest seafood house in Brunswick County. Varnum is also an active member of Brunswick Catch, an organization dedicated to preserving and supporting the seafood industry in Brunswick County.

Finally, Lisa spends some time in the kitchen with Chef Leslie Gause of the Inlet View Bar and Grill in Shallotte. Below is Chef Gause’s recipe for shrimp and grits, which Lisa says may be in the top two of many shrimp and grits she’s had over the years.


  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • ¾ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp base or shrimp stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup diced, crispy bacon
  • 2 cups quick grits, prepared following package directions

In a large skillet sauté onions, pepers and mushrooms in butter for five minutes or until tender. In another frying pan, sauté shrimp in butter until almost cooked through, then add garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Add the shrimp to the frying pan of vegetables. Then add a shrimp base and cream and simmer until sauce thickens. Serve over grits. Sprinkle bacon over the top.

Note: Chef Gause adds cream to her cooked grits for extra richness.