Cauldrons bearing New England Clam Chowder at the 2011 Greenport Chowder Contest.
Some summers I go to a chowder contest and act like it’s work. “It’s me again,” I say, rolling my eyes. “I’ve been assigned to cover this chowder contest. Would you mind giving me a second taste?” The chowder ladler rolls her eyes and doles out a little more of their New England-style (my favorite), with mock commiseration. Truth is, I’ve assigned the contest to myself and have been known to spend a Saturday hitting contests on both forks. Why? Can it be just because I like soup? Everyone likes soup. Most people I know like clams. But would anyone order a bowl of clam soup? Don’t answer that.
But what you can do is visit the newly reformulated contest in Greenport. After last year’s absence from the annual Maritime Festival in September, the Greenport Chowder Contest has been turned in to special and is now a three-hour celebration of red or white clam soup. Keturah D. Hurst, special event coordinator for the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation, which organizes the event, tells us the Maritime Festival, which is in its 25th year, was growing a little to big for the village’s resources. So they spun off the chowder contest with the belief that an early summer date would be best for chefs, the village and tourists. This year, 15 chefs are participating, a beer and root beer tasting will be incorporated, as will a raffle with prizes like a night’s stay in a b-and-b.
The Details: First Annual Greenport Chowder Festival at 234 Carpenter Street in Greenport. June 8 from noon until 3 p.m. Winners will be named at 3 p.m. after a popular vote. Beer from Greenport Harbor Brewing Company and Miss Lady Root Beer. Advanced tickets are $12.50 per person; two for $25, and $17.50 or two for $35 at the door. Rain or shine. ID required for beer. Ticket holders who spend $20 or more at a participating restaurant on June 8 will be entered in the raffle. Each ticket holder will be given one ballot. Buy tickets here. All proceeds benefit the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation. See you there!