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Chowder Cook-off 2018
A festival celebrating chowder & St. Patrick's Day
March 19, 2018
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lams and other seafood showed up in many of the entries but it was a potato chowder that won the Oriental Women’s Club Chowder Cookoff, which fell on St. Patrick’s Day this year. When the ballots were counted, the top vote-getter was Harbourside Garden Center’s Southwestern Spicy Potato Cheese Chowder.

Rachel Tipton won the first time she entered the Chowder CookOff. “I can’t believe this. I’m not a cook. I don’t cook.” The recipe for Southwestern Spicy Potato Cheese Chowder was her mother’s, she said, but she tweaked it a little.

Garris Painting & Home Services came in second – a very, very close second. Their Rockfish chowder was just one vote shy of Harbourside’s entry, making it the closest finish in memory. Saturday was the first time either of the top two finishers had taken part in OWC’s chowder contest, which this year sold 300 tickets.

Just one vote behind Harbourside Garden Center, was Garris Painting & Home Services, here welcoming Rachel to the stage to receive her People’s Choice Award.
Chowder tasters wandered from crock pots to gas cookers at the OWC’ Chowder Cookoff Saturday. (It was also St. Patrick’‘s Day which upped the green attire quotient.)

Honors for Best Decorated Entry went to Ginger Barnett for her St Pat’s-inspired table. With a friend in full leprauchaun green regalia, she served up cups of corned beef and cabbage chowder. OWC presented her a pendant made by Marguerite Garrett.

Ginger Barnett’s entry was a chowderized version of corn beef and cabbage.
As chowder voters taste-tested the 10 chowders, Harbor Sounds performed bluegrass and (greener) Celtic tunes .
Shamrocks were in abundance.
Nelda Coats’ green carnations were part of the presentation of Resource Financial Services’ corn and bacon chowder .

Those attending could sample chowders from 10 teams. Four of the chowders were variations of clam chowder.

People’s Choice
Rachel Tipton, Harborside Garden Company … Southwestern spicy potato cheese

Just 1 vote behind 1st place
Garris Painting & Home Services … Rock fish

Best St. Patrick’s Day Decoration
Ginger Barnett … Corned beef chowder, shot of Guinness as a bribe.

First Citizens Bank … Ol’ Timey clam
Toucan Grill … A traditional clam served at Toucan Grill
NC Coastal Heritage Association … DownEast rack-of-the-eye clam
Oriental Piggly Wiggly … An old family recipe clam
Inland Waterway Provision Co … Conch, as cooked by Oriental Food Initiative
Ralf Heit / Lost Colony … Cajun shrimp
Resource Financial Services … Corn and bacon

Oriental’s Piglet made its first appearance at the chowder cook-off. They offered an old family recipe, which probably included at least one ingredient derived from a pig, bacon being a common ingredient in many family recipes.

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Posted Monday March 19, 2018 by Ben Casey

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