By PAMELA CODY
Special to the PRESS
The shrimping industry is an integral part of Port Isabel, with generations of families continuing the tradition of going out to sea and harvesting the sweet, meaty crustaceans from the Gulf of Mexico year after year. And those legacies are naturally followed by many proud family recipes that highlight the delicious wild-caught shrimp. Thus, 25 years ago, the Annual World’s Championship Shrimp Cook-Off began in Port Isabel, Texas.
So it was only fitting that a family that participated in the very first shrimp cook-off would return to celebrate this milestone anniversary. Dennis and Renee Sanchez, manning their booth, Millie’s Shrimp Shack, this past Saturday afternoon, reminisced about their family’s history at the event.
“It’s a family affair,” Sanchez said, describing their history with the cook-off. “Our participation was founded by our mother, Millie Sanchez, at the very first shrimp cook-off. We won the very first one in the amateur division.”
The family re-entered in 2014, winning first place again for their shrimp dish entry. But the Sanchez family doesn’t rest on their laurels, instead using a different recipe every time they’ve entered the competition. This year, Millie’s Shrimp Shack took 3rd place in the amateur division with their crab stuffed shrimp, wrapped in a wonton, deep fried, then served on a bed of marinated coleslaw.
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