Chowder Challenge 2019 Winners

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This past Sunday, November 10, 2019 was the 6th Annual Chowder Challenge, presented by The Pass-A-Grille Woman's Club. It's a fundraising event for and by the Pass-a-Grille Woman’s Club and other local charities. The event was held at Horan Park right on the St. Pete Beach Intracoastal. Not only is Horan Park a beautiful location, it also has the following accommodations - a playground, pavilion, barbecue, restrooms & parking.

(Photos by Lori Brown unless otherwise indicted)

Horan Park Before the Crowds Arrived

Horan Park Before the Crowds Arrived (Judges arrived at 11:30, event opened at 1)

Park is right on the water

Park is right on the water

The event honored veterans for Veteran's Day. There was a color guard, the singing of the National Anthem, and a ceremony pledging new recruits into the military.

There was a silent auction, raffle, and live music as well.

The tickets were $15, and they allowed attendees to taste and judge 20 different restaurant's entries. You could buy extra tickets for $4 for beer, wine, and desserts.

In addition to the People's Choice, there were three "Celebrity Judges" as well.

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I was one of the judges, along with Bobbie Huston from Campbell's Soup, and Executive Chef Matt Smith, from The Hangar Restaurant and Flight Lounge.

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Judges L-R - Matthew Smith, Bobbie Huston, Kevin Godbee

Judges L-R - Matthew Smith, Bobbie Huston, Kevin Godbee

People's Choice Judging

People's Choice Judging (Photo: Chowder Challenge)

We did a blind tasting with rating sheets with samples brought to us by runners. We were set on the opposite side of the park so we couldn't see which restaurants the samples were coming from, and they were numbered, but numbered differently than the contestants booths.

Three of the entries were "non-chowders", and the rest were all kinds of different chowders with the majority being cream based, or white chowders.

After the initial round of judging, we brought back five to re-taste - three chowders and two non-chowders as we needed to choose winners for each of these two categories.

Portofino Italian Ristoranti

Portofino Italian Ristoranti (Photo: Portofino Italian Ristoranti)

Cheff Brett Sovern, Paradise Grill

Cheff Brett Sovern, Paradise Grill (Photo: Paradise Grill)

The 2019 Winners

The Golden Ladle - Ricky T's (Spicy Seafood Creole Chowder - this was a judges final round contestant.)

Judge's Best in Show Chowder - The Dewey Beach Restaurant (Smoked Fish Chowder w/Tomato Herb Broth and little bit of kick.)

Judge's Best in Show Non-Chowder Soup - Portofino Italian Ristorante (Zuppa di Pesce Italiana - packed with flavor and all kinds of fish and seafood.)

People's Choice 1st Place - Paradise Grille (Bay Scallop, Crab, Bacon Chowder - this was a judges final round contestant.)

People's Choice 2nd Place - Culinary School, Pinellas Technical College

People's Choice 3rd Place - Shells

Chowder Challenge Website

Golden Ladle Award

Golden Ladle Award

Chowder Challenge 2019 Winners
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Your favorite local restaurants in the St Pete Beach area compete for your votes in the annual CHOWDER CHALLENGE. Come to Horan Park on Sunday 11/10 for chowder, music and raffles, silent auction and fun.

MORE FOODIES READING  Jimmy Hula's Dec 11th Grand Opening - $19,700+ Free Tacos in Giveaways!

DISCLAIMER: Kevin, Lori, Abby, Haley, Lindsey, & Alexia do not dine anonymously (this would be impossible) and we sometimes get free food (though never expected). However, we dine with the locals and we support our own. You will always get honesty in a respectful manner.
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