The Chowder Trail Champions in Red, White and Creative categories were recognized among the many festivities at Taylor Avenue Waterfront in Beach Haven on October 15.
The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce along with event sponsors Health Village Imaging, Barlow Buick GMC, Richie & Page, Michelob Ultra, The Bywatyr Shop, 609 Security, Reynolds Garden Shop, NJ Division of Travel & Tourism, Ocean County Board of Commissioners, AtlantiCare, Anderson Insurance Agency, Potts Excavating, and The Sandpaper celebrated chowder champions and a beautiful fall day at the bay during their Oct 15 event. Chowderfest was rescheduled from the traditional weekend before Columbus Day due to the effects of Hurricane Ian causing high winds, rain, and flooding conditions. The event was a boom for the region bringing in thousands specifically for the new date.
The champions were announced by Master of Ceremonies Chris Huch, who highlighted the importance of preparing and practicing coastal resiliency on the month marking the 10-year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy making landfall in the region.
The red chowder category went to Daddy O in Brant Beach, white to Tucker’s Tavern of Beach Haven, and Creative to Delaware Avenue Oyster House in Beach Haven Terrace.
The Sweeney Family of Delaware Oyster house received the award with Chef Brit Rescigno, Pete Paladino, and Chef Jeff Alberti representing Daddy Os and Tuckers Tavern. A special thank you to all the restaurants that were on the Chowder trail all September long, that included Country Kettle Chowda, Daddy O Restaurant & Bar, Dockside Diner, Russo’s Italian Restaurant, The Chicken or the Egg, Tucker’s Tavern, Delaware Avenue Oyster House, LaBamba and Old Causeway Steak & Oyster. The states that brought the most Tasters directly to restaurants were from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Maryland, and Delaware. Checking from 11 am to 9 pm with heaviest traffic 5-8 pm, with each day showing visits, Saturday outpaced the other days of the week. With over 1000 check-ins overall, each restaurant saw dozens of new customers specifically for the chowder trail.
The day started off with Southern Regional High School Sophomore, Avery Smith performing the National Anthem on violin. The vendor village was filled with local restaurants offering chowder for purchase as well as other menu specialties, merchants, Jetty Pop Up Shop selling Official Chowder gear, and Jetty Rock foundation with their updated Unite and Rebuild T-Shirt with proceeds benefiting Hurricane Ian relief efforts. The Bywatyr Shop outfitted their Base camp that allowed crowds to sit in comfortable and conversational seating while watching performances by Gypsy Moon, The Fourth Son, Brandon Ireland band, Frankie Goes to Dollywood, and Electric Beach. Thank you to the Jersey Blue Claws “Buster” for the afternoon appearance as well as Crunchy The T Rex. Sincere appreciation to all the restaurants and vendors who accommodated the change of date, with special acknowledgment to the Surflight Theatre, who provided the stage when the county band shell was not available due to the new date.
For more information on the upcoming events, go to the Southern Ocean Chamber website www.visitlbiregion.com