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2019 Chowder Cook-Off
Toucan's Clam Chowder Takes 1st Place
March 18, 2019

orn chowder. Manhattan Chowder. Bacon chowder. Clam chowder. Fish chowder. Lobster and pork roast were together in one chowder. There was even chowder proclaiming what it didn’t contain.

It was the 12th Annual Chowder Cook-Off Saturday on the Oriental Marina Inn grounds by the harbor. OWC (Oriental Woman’s Club) makes it all happen – the event is a fundraiser for the OWC scholarship fund. OWC President Gwen Rhodes says over $3,000 was raised.

The event celebrated chowders, St. Patrick, and, if one took inventory of the the patrons present, Irish red hair was seen on several heads.

If you attended here’s how it works. You pay ten bucks (it goes to that scholorship fund) and you wander from table to table, sampling the chowders. There were 9 different chowder entries.

The big chowder winners: the Toucan Grill for the People’s Choice Award. Oriental’s Piglet was honored for having the best St. Patrick’s Day decorations.

Red haired Michelle Musella served as the designated Cornbread Queen at the bake sale table.
Toucan Grill’s Chelsea Smith accepted the People’s Choice Award. Tom McIlhenney told TownDock their entry was the basic clam chowder served by the restaurant.
OWC members Carolyn Ellis and Susan Harrell selling a ticket to Josh Gordon. Asked where he was from, he responded, “Nowhere.” He said living on his boat, Wayfinder, leaves him without a permanent address.
Rachel Tipton, from Harborside Nursery in Stonewall, was the 2018 Peoples Choice award winner. She was honored this year for concocting the best Southwestern Chowder.
Ken Pitts braced himself for a taste of Marie Inkenbrandt’s Manhattan Chowder. She is a chef at Yawl’s Cafe at River Dunes.
Inkenbrandt’s smile expressed confidence in her recipe as patrons sampled their first taste.
Every year, the music of Harbor Sounds is paired with chowder sampling. Dixie Gatlin on violin, husband Asa on bass, and Paul Sykes, banjo and vocals.
Dick Osmun rounds out the Harbor sounds quartet on guitar.
Justin Dowdy, Carteret County native from across the Neuse River, is the research and development chef at Fulcher’s Seafood and Legasea products. His chowder was made with an extensive range of ingredients: tuna; clams; lobster; bacon; and Boston butt pork roast. Dowdy served Lynn Alexander, from Wilson, her first taste.
Terri MacMahon, from Arlington Place, introduced a young man to their version of a clam chowder.
In 2018, Tim And Tammy Garris entered their Rockfish Chowder representing Garris Painting & Home Services. They returned for 2019 simply as T&T, Tim and Tammy. Their chowder contained 15 pounds of striped bass, a delicacy also known as rockfish. Rockfish, or striped bass, are subjected to stringent fishing regulations. Valued not only for their taste, but their diminished availability also gives them significant financial value. Their chowder was honored for containing the highest percentage of one species of fish. OWC’s Linda Parker, left, poses with them.
An apron with a message and a kettle of rockfish chowder.
Red hair was sprinkled throughout the chowder aficionados who paid homage to St. Patrick.
The Oriental Food Initiative and the Provision Company partnered to produce a health conscious chowder, voted Best Non-Dairy.
Joseph Robinson and Melissa Bunn, represented Oriental’s Piggly Wiggly grocery store. Their chowder had a Piggy Panache. Honored for having the best table decorations, they received a candelabra crafted by Marlene Miller.
Katiyer Quint, from the Ukraine where it borders the Black Sea, won the 50-50 raffle.

The Awards:

Toucan Grill and Fresh Bar ~ Chelsea Smith won The Peoples Choice award. It was a clam chowder. The award was a “Dragon Paver.”

Arlington Place ~ Terri MacMahon and Rock Rockwell
The most bacony chowder.

Harborside Garden Company ~ Rachel Tipton
Best Southwestern Chowder

Yawls Cafe at River Dunes ~ Marie Inkenbrandt
Marie’s special Manhattan Chowder, honored as the best red chowder

Silo’s~ Chris Daniels
Best spice…a touch of lemon

The Piglet ~ Melissa Bunn and Joey Robinson
Labeled a corny chowder, it was awarded the Panache Award. For exhibiting the best St. Patrick’s Day decorations, they received a candelabra made by Marlene Miller

Tim& Tammy Garris
TNT Rockfish Chowder was honored for having the most fish in a chowder.

Fulchers Seafood ~ Justin Dowdy
Boston butt seafood Chowder, received accolades for containing the best variety of seafood in addition to bacon and pork roast.

Inland Waterway Provision Company & The Oriental Food Initiative
Best non dairy chowder

Posted Monday March 18, 2019 by Ben Casey

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