Local crabbers get documentary spotlight
Published 8:44 pm Wednesday, March 26, 2014
‘Peelers, Busters and Soft Shell Crabs’, a documentary on WNCT television will air on April 3, presenting a peak into the mystery of how the common hard blue crab becomes the delicious, artfully prepared ‘soft shell crab’.
According to Carroll Leggett, Winston-Salem public relations professional, the documentary was produced and directed by Gregg Jamback of Swiftwater Media, a media firm in Winston-Salem, and himself. The idea was a result of Leggett visiting the Debbie Wilkins’ Crab Ranch for dinner, deeming it interesting for a story.
“There’s a lot of footage with your local folks,” Leggett said. “Really we’re telling a story that has never been told on camera before. It came together really well.”
The documentary featured Debbie and Curtis Wilkins, local crabbers who have a shedding operation that provides top-grade soft shell crabs to restaurants and retail markets. It also featured another local crabber, Josh Hopkins.
“Going down to the Crab Ranch and talking to Debbie and Curtis Wilkins, we documented the shedding operation and got interviews as well as went out on the boats with Curtis and Josh,” Leggett said. “We talked with them; we went down to the plant that they had; we shot they’re shedding tanks; we had them show us how the crabs bust out of their shells; and we ended with a piece with Jay Pierce, who is a chef at Lucky 32 restaurant in Greensboro, showing us how to cook soft-shell crabs.”
Leggett praised the Wilkins’ as well as Hopkins for making the documentary possible.
“They’re great folks,” Leggett said. “It was so much fun shooting with them because they were so good on camera. They were sort of fearless and it’s hard to find people who are fearless when they get in front of the camera.”
The documentary is scheduled to premiere on April 3 at 10 p.m. on WNCT.