Alisa Long, center, and her daughter Azaria sample one of the chowders entered in the Chowder Chowdown cook-off at Neighborhood House last Saturday. ISLANDER PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Chowdering down: Island cooks tackle chowder



MOUNT DESERT — The competition was heated – not to mention rich and creamy – at the Chowder Chowdown cook-off at Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor last Saturday evening.

The event was a fundraiser for Island Connections.

Thirteen individuals or pairs of cooks, many of them representing a local business or organization, offered samples of their chowder to the more than 100 people who attended.

After tasting all of the entries, people cast ballots for their favorite chowder. The result was a tie between Mount Desert Island Hospital and the Side Street Café for the “people’s choice award.”

The hospital’s entry was concocted by Sherry Kief; Side Street’s by Eric Eversole.

In addition, a panel of judges awarded prizes in several categories.

In the professional division, Peekytoe Provisions won for best traditional chowder and Little A’s won for best nontraditional.

In the amateur division, Tim Fleck won for best traditional chowder, Maegan Haney and Jenna Horton won for best nontraditional, and Tom Reeve won for best vegetarian.

“It was a great success, and we will be doing it again next year,” Doreen Willett, executive director of Island Connections, said of the Chowder Chowdown.

“We were happy to have an event where our community could come together in the winter for a fun, enjoyable and delicious evening.”

Island Connections volunteers provide free transportation for people who need help getting to medical, dental and eye care appointments. They also deliver meals and give rides to grocery stores, pharmacies and banks.

Winning recipe – Ingredients for Tom Reeve’s award-winning vegetarian chowder: Vegetable broth (water, celery, carrots, mushrooms, onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, pink peppercorns, black pepper, soy sauce, salt, canola oil, olive oil), coconut milk, potatoes, corn, onions, garlic, lime zest and juice, kale garnish.

Winning recipe – Ingredients for Tim Fleck’s award-winning traditional chowder: shrimp, scallops, haddock, bacon, bell pepper, onion, celery, wheat flour, milk, bay leaves, red pepper.

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