One of the oldest and most popular events at the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation Maritime Festival, the chowder contest, is undergoing a change this year. After 20 years of featuring only red and white chowders whipped up by local restaurants, this year’s contest, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Chase Bank parking lot on Main Street, will feature fish, clam and corn chowders.
This year’s competitors are Claudio’s Restaurant, Southold Fish Market, Tweeds/Dark Horse Catering, Noah’s, Townsend Manor, Piping Plover, a Mano and Butta’Cakes. It will cost you $6 to sample the entries and participate in the People’s Choice judging.
“John Ross gave a lot of input into redesigning the contest,” said organizer Kelly Logsdon Reardon. While the public will still pick the People’s Choice in each category, a single “Best in Show” winner will be selected by a panel of judges based on the quality and execution of the recipe, taste, texture and appearance.
Winners of the People’s Choice awards will each receive plaques. The prize for Best in Show prize will be $250 cash and a trophy that can be displayed for one year.
Judges, who will conduct blind taste tests, are: Mr. Ross, a chef and author of two books on North Fork food and wines; Paula Croteau, owner of The Farmhouse Kitchen in Southold; Albie De Kerillis, a graduate of the Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Paris; Chris Smith, founder of CMS Architecture and Design, PC in New York, a firm specializing in hospitality and restaurant design; Mary Morgan, an early founder of the East End Chapter of Slow Food; and Tom Scalia from Century 21 Albertson Realty in Greenport, the contest’s sponsor.
Century 21 Albertson Realty staff members traditionally serve 1,000 people in the three-hour judging period and each competing local restaurant produces about 15 gallons of chowder for sampling.