NEWPORT -- Thousands of chowder lovers savored the sumptuous soups of the best chefs at the 31st Annual Schweppes Great Chowder Cook-Off, held on Saturday, June 2 at the Newport Yachting Center on 4 Commercial Wharf. But they also had a job to do --- to determine who was going to take home the coveted titles of “Best Clam,” “Best Seafood” and “Best Creative” chowder - and thousands in prize money.
The winners are:
The 2012 Best Clam Chowder
1st Place – Stefano’s Seafood Restaurant, Long Beach Island, NJ
2nd Place – Luke’s Lobster/Hurricane’s Soup, Greene, ME
3rd Place – Genesis Healthcare/Pawtucket Skilled Nursing, Pawtucket, RI
The 2012 Best Seafood Chowder
1st Place – Melville Grille, Portsmouth, RI
2nd Place – Rhody Joe’s, Wakefield, RI
3rd Place – Bunratty Manor Hotel, County Clare, Ireland
The 2012 Best Creative Chowder
1st Place – The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, Newport, RI
2nd Place – Leo’s Ristorante, Bristol, RI
3rd Place – Tavern By The Sea, North Kingstown, RI
People’s Choice Most Spirited Team Winner – Melville Grille, Portsmouth, RI
Best Decorated Booth Winner – Stefano’s Seafood Restaurant – Long Beach Island, NJ
“We had two of last year’s second place winners, Stefano’s and the Melville Grille, taste the ultimate chowder glory today while local favorite, The Mooring, retained their title in the ‘Creative’ category,“ said Mike Martin, Festival Director for the Newport Yachting Center. Martin also added that the real winners were the thousands who came out to enjoy all the chowder and entertainment, as well as the local charities that benefited from the event.
The highly anticipated competition boasts 3,000 gallons of delicious chowder prepared by the nation's best chefs who serve samples of their sumptuous creations to the thousands of chowder loving festival attendees who double 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.