LONG BEACH ISLAND – And the countdown begins. The 2019 Chowderfest Weekend kicks off on October 5 with the Merchant Mart.
Last year, Chowderfest celebrated its 30th year of food and fun with a record-breaking 13,000 “Chowderheads” in attendance. Held in Beach Haven’s Bay Village on Long Beach Island, the event brings out dozens of restaurants from all along LBI, Ocean County, and even other countries.
The event is falling a little later on the calendar this year, pushing into the month of October. On October 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the Merchant Mart will be set up featuring tons of local vendors and great deals. The Merchant Mart is free to the public. Last year’s event also featured a variety of beers on tap, hard ciders and a wine by the glass selection.
On October 6, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., the Chowder Cook-Off Classic will take place. Restaurants from all over will come together to compete for champion titles in the white, red, and creative chowder categories. Attendees that purchase a ticket can enjoy a taste testing of all the unique and classic chowder selections.
In 2018, the top three winners for red, white and creative chowders went to: Lefty’s Tavern for the best red (Manhattan) chowder, Howard’s Restaurant for the best white clam chowder, and Blue Water Cafe for the best creative chowder.
A few honorable mentions were awarded as well, including the WooHoo who won for most unique chowder for their clam chowder ice cream. Also recognized were:
- Rookie of the Year: Nancy’s Barn Ireland. Owner Kieran Doherty and his culinary team traveled all the way from Ireland just to participate in LBI’s 30th annual Chowderfest cook-off.
- Best Interpretation of the Theme: Country Kettle Chowda
- Best Shore Motif: Black Whale Bar & Fish House
- Most Enthusiastic: Nancy’s Barn Ireland
- Most Creative Booth: Delaware Oyster House
The annual Chowder Cook-Off Classic is a ticketed event. VIP tickets are $65 and include a t-shirt, early admission at 10 a.m., and exclusive admission to the VIP Bar. General admission tickets are $30; $10 for children ages 4-12.
Tickets are on sale at the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce Information Center, located at 265 West 9th Street, Ship Bottom NJ. For information, you can call 609-494-7211.
Chowderfest Weekend is a rain or shine event!