Chef Andrew Smith of West Egg prepares shrimp and grits at the Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival in 2016.

Shrimp and Grits Fest is going on as planned this weekend -- and paying it forward

Atlanta chef will also defend his Best Shrimp and Grits title

It was cancelled last year due to Hurricane Irma, but this year’s Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival is moving forward as planned, with an eye on paying it forward.

The event, which is set to start today at 4 p.m. and run through Sept. 16, will encourage attendees to make donations to the Red Cross for Hurricane Florence relief. Guests will be asked to make a cash donation in lieu of tipping bartenders; guests can add a $1 donation to every purchase made in the Festival Gifts Tent; and the Jekyll Island Authority will match the donations up to $5,000. 

The Shrimp and Grits Festival features activities focusing on the classic southern dish along with entertainment, an artists market, live music, kids’ zone, food and a craft brew fest. 

West Egg Cafe chef Andrew Smith will defend his title in the Best Shrimp and Grits competition, pitting him against other Georgia chefs. Smith originally won the title in 2016, and later cooked the dish of Gov. Deal.

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