Georgia’s Best Shrimp & Grits

The annual Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival is a quintessentially Southern, one-of-a-kind tradition celebrating one of Georgia’s most-beloved dishes: shrimp and grits. In 2016, we raised the bar, and took the cooking competition state-wide.  Chefs from top restaurants around the state battled it out in a professional cooking competition for the title of “Georgia’s Best Shrimp & Grits.”

Despite Hurricane Irma’s interruption in 2017, the Georgia’s Best tradition will return for 2018: We’re looking for the best shrimp & grits dish in Georgia! Professional chefs from all over the state are returning to compete for the title, “Georgia’s Best Shrimp & Grits 2018” at the Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival.

Festival Competition

Jekyll Island is pleased to welcome back the 2017 regional winners – who didn’t get the chance to compete, no thanks to Hurricane Irma – to vie for the title in 2018. Talented teams from these restaurants around the state will compete in a blind judging on-site at the Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival Saturday, September 15. Good luck!

Atlanta Metro: Sweet Potato Cafe
Classic South: Honey Cafe
The Coast: Southern Soul Barbecue
Historic Heartland: Aubri Lane’s
Magnolia Midlands: Eagle Creek Brewing Company
Northeast Georgia Mountains: Valhalla Resort
Plantation Trace: The LOCAL kitchen:bar
Defending Champion: West Egg Cafe


Cooking competition winners will receive:


The full judging panel for the Georgia’s Best Shrimp & Grits cooking competition is still in the works, but Jekyll Island is excited to have Henna Bakshi confirmed for 2018. Check back soon as additional judges are revealed!

Henna Bakshi

Henna Bakshi is a journalist at CNN/HLN and a food blogger for Atlanta Eats. She has vast culinary experience, including having hosted and produced her own cooking show, “Around the World in $40” on HLN. She returns as a judge for the festival.

Born and raised in New Delhi, Henna learned how to cook from her mother who taught her how to use India’s vast collection of exotic spices. Now in Atlanta, Henna continues to cook with a blend of Indian and American flavors, and make an influence in the food world in the city. She is a strong supporter of local farmers markets, continually encouraging the use of fresh ingredients.

Henna lives with her husband, Andy, and together they run a food Instagram page called @ATLrooftops where they document their adventures of finding amazing dishes served with a skyline view of the city.

When she is not cooking or filming, Henna enjoys hiking the North Georgia mountains and spending time with her family, usually all over a cup of tea.

For more information on Henna’s work, please visit