Do you know of a chowder that hits the spot? The 33rd Annual Polar Seltzer Great Chowder Cook-Off, to take place on Saturday, June 7th at the Newport Yachting Center, is recruiting hardcore chowder fans to join its team of official Chowder-Spotters in a hunt for hidden gems that serve champion-caliber “chowda” and might be hot for competition. The Chowder-Spotters are asked to encourage restaurant owners and chefs to get involved by giving them an official “You’ve Been Chowder Spotted” card which contains information on how they can enter the competition and start on their road to chowder glory. And, if a “spotted” restaurant ends up competing in the 2014 Great Chowder Cook-Off, and a Chowder Spotter was the first to spot them, the Newport Yachting Center will recognize the Chowder Spotter with a $100 dining certificate to their competitor’s restaurant.
“We know three are a lot of chowder enthusiasts out there who are tasting chowders all the time and want to advocate for their personal favorites,” said Mike Martin, Festival Director at the Newport Yachting Center. “That’s why we’re enlisting the support of Spotters to help uncover these worthy chowders at shacks, restaurants and secret spots around New England so we can make our competition as thick as possible this summer.” Martin encouraged any aspiring Chowder-Spotters to contact him at (401) 846-1600 x210 or at email@example.com to make the appointment official and receive the Chowder-Spotter cards.
Open to local, regional and international chefs who work at restaurants, catering companies and institutional dining facilities, the spirited Great Chowder Cook-Off competition for bragging rights and $13,000 in prizes and awards is a fun-filled day for the chowder creators as well as the tasters.
The event features all-you-can-eat "chowda" from the nation's best chefs who serve samples of their sumptuous creations to the thousands of chowder loving festival attendees who also act as judges. Chefs compete for the coveted titles of "Best Clam," "Best Seafood," and "Best Creative" chowder with prize money being awarded to the top three winners in each category, including $2,000 each for the first-place winners.
But it is not all about the “Chowda”. Back by popular demand, the “Clam Cake Chow-Down” eating contest, the Stop & Shop Culinary stage featuring culinary demonstrations, multiple stages of live music, the Amica Family Fun Area and captivating kidSTOPs will be featured throughout the day.
Also that day and evening, the new Newport Oyster Festival will only be a cherrystone’s throw away just outside the gates at the Newport Yachting Center. The best of local shellfish and seafood is presented farmers’ market style by Matunuck Oyster Farm and paired with beer, wine, spirits and live music. The Festival continues into the evening making it a great after-party following the Great Chowder Cook-Off awards ceremony.
After a close competition, last year's Great Chowder Cook-Off winners were "Best Clam" – Stefano’s Seafood Restaurant, Long Beach Island, NJ; "Best Seafood" – Melville Grille, Portsmouth, RI; and "Best Creative" – The Octagon Restaurant, Groton, CT.
The Polar Seltzer Great Chowder Cook-Off is offering a Spring Discount Ticket Price of $15 through May 1st, at which point an advance price of $20 is good through Friday, June 6th with the Saturday, June 7th day-of event ticket costing $25. All tickets include complimentary admittance to the Newport Oyster Festival. Children are admitted free if under the age of 12 and accompanied by a paid adult.
To purchase tickets, please visit newportwaterfrontevents.com or order by phone by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased as walk ups seven days a week at the Newport Yachting Center Box Office on 4 Commercial Wharf (on America’s Cup Avenue) in downtown Newport (starting on May 1st). For more information, please visit newportwaterfrontevents.com or contact the Newport Yachting Center at (401) 846-1600.