Coast Day visitors lined up all day to taste the Chowder
Challenge entries. Photo by Kathy Atkinson
In this year’s Coast Day Chowder Challenge, a competition that lets visitors do the judging, there was no shortage of taste testers. Visitors eagerly queued up all day, and when their votes were tallied, the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association took first prize over the First State Chefs Association.
“This is always a very popular event at Coast Day, and this year was no different,” said Doris Hicks, seafood specialist with Delaware Sea Grant and organizer of the Coast Day seafood competitions. “We had close to 1,000 voters.”
Visitors sampled a 2-ounce portion of each chowder and then voted for their favorite recipe. The Delmarva Chefs and Cooks’ entry stood out for its creamy texture and rich taste.
Before Coast Day, each organization holds an internal competition to see which recipe to enter. For the winning group, member Ron Brobst’s “New England clam chowder” was the winner. His recipe begins with sautéing shallots, garlic, onion, bacon, celery, and clams. Next it calls for adding flour, milk, cream, clam stock, and Chalbis wine. Seasonings include Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon zest.
For his organization, however, President Tony Hilligoss said taking part in the friendly competition goes beyond a good recipe.
“We like to get to work with the other chef’s association and to make the public aware that the chefs aren’t just in the kitchen,” he said. “and we like to devote our time to causes like this.”
Both associations used clams donated by Seawatch International Inc., of Milford, Del., for the event.
Coast Day, which is organized by the University of Delaware’s College of Marine and Earth Studies (CMES) and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, attracts thousands of visitors each year to celebrate Delaware’s coastal resources and experience marine research.
For more information about Coast Day, which will take place next year on Sunday, Oct. 4, visit www.deseagrant.org/coastday or call 302-831-8083.
To learn more about the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, visit www.deseagrant.org.
For more about CMES, visit www.ocean.udel.edu.
2008 Chowder Challenge Recipes
New England Clam Chowder
Chef Ron Brobst
Coral Reef Restaurant, Ocean City, MD
ACF Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association
6 ounces butter
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
8 ounces yellow onion, minced
4 ounces celery, minced
4 ounces bacon, minced
14 ounces can chopped clams
Melt butter and sauté above ingredients until tender.
8 ounces all purpose flour
Add flour and incorporate.
2 quarts milk
1 quart heavy cream, scalded
6 cups clam stock
1 cup Chablis wine, reduced by ½
Add liquid ingredients to sautéed vegetables and flour to make chowder.
14 ounces Russet potatoes, ¼” small dice
Cook potatoes until tender and add to chowder.
Season* with the following:
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Zest of 1 lemon
Heat chowder thoroughly.
*Herbs and seasonings optional.
Yield 1 gallon
ACF First State Chefs Association
1 can chopped clams (49.75 oz)
24 oz Clam broth
8 oz bacon- raw ¼“dice
8 oz white onion ¼” dice
4-5 sprigs thyme- strip leaves from stems
12 oz potatoes 1/2 “ dice
1 qt heavy cream
1 cup fresh corn kernels
8 oz butter
8 oz flour
Melt butter and add flour to make a roux
Cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly — do not brown
Sauté the chopped bacon over medium heat — only slightly brown
Add the diced onions and sweat till opaque — approx 7 minutes
Add clams and clam juice
Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 10 minutes
Add potatoes and corn and cook till slightly crisp — approx 5 minutes
Strain broth into a new pot
Thicken the broth with the roux using a whisk — add gradually so you don’t over thicken
Continue to simmer another 5 minutes to cook out the flour
Strain the thickened stock into the previously strained ingredients
Add heavy cream and simmer another 2 minutes
Adjust seasoning with salt and white pepper
Adjust thickness if needed with a little more roux