Sept. 30, 2012
-- The lure of sun, surf and chowder brought thousands into the Long Beach Island Region for a perfect weekend of live music, great shopping and of course unlimited chowder tasting,. The crowds have spoken casting their vote for the best red and white chowder this side of the keys. New England Clam Chowder bragging rights go to Howard’s Restaurant winning both Critics Choice and Grand Prize. Country Kettle Chowda came in first runner up, Four Cs Sons second runner up and Sea Oaks Country Club third runner up. For the Manhattan Red Clam Chowder favorites, honors for both Critics Choice and Grand Prize go to Stefano’s Seafood & Pasta, Black Whale Bar & Fish House for placing first runner up, Bistro 14 for second and Chicken or the Egg as third runner up. Rookie of the year was Atlantic City’s Chart House. Best Booth Winners as chosen by the VIPs were Black Whate, Country Kettle Chowda, Howard’s and Buckalew’s Restaurant and Tavern.
The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank our dedicated committee, volunteers and our 2012 Chowder Fest Cook Off Participants Bistro 14, Black Whale, Buckalew’s, Chicken or the Egg, Greenhouse Café, Phillips Seafood, Southern Smoke, Stefano’s, TGI Friday’s, Sea Oaks, The Maine Course, Lefty’s Tavern, Howard’s , Gourmet Deli & Catering, The Frou C’s Sons, Country Kettle Chowda, and the Chart House. They would also like to thank Grace Hanlon of the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism announcing the champions, Ed Hitzel and his team of 14 judges for the Critic’s Choice Award, and to the Panzone Family. The Chamber also would like to thank all 24 caddy contest entrants and congratulate Carla Ciulla from Carmel NY who was selected by the judges as this year’s favorite. Honorable Mention goes to Andrew Schuler of Collegeville PA and Christianne Gadd of Bethlehem PA. The Chowder Challenge sponsored by The Van Dyk Group was Eileen Flood of New Hope PA.
A special thanks to the 69 merchants who helped make September 29ths Merchant Mart a success, The Borough of Beach Haven, Hawkins Road Band, and sponsors of the event, Bud light, Land Shark, Magic 100.1, US Foods, The Sandpaper, The Beachcomber and NJ Division of Travel and Tourism. For more information about Chowderfest or other events from The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce go to visitLBIregion.com, 609 494 7211 or stop into visitor center at 265 West Ninth St Ship Bottom.