In Events

Third decade of Chowderfest starts with success, sending compliments to the chef and kitchen crews who made it possible.

Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all who supported the 30th Annual Chowderfest weekend that took place on September 29 and 30 of 2018. With beautiful weather, a record number of restaurants, enthusiastic crowds and passionate volunteers; the event thrilled anniversary crowds with many surprises. Chowderfest was created to extend the local economy and promote tourism past the traditional Labor Day Weekend. Though it is a home grown event, it reached across the globe bringing international attendees and this year a competitor from Ireland. Friends and families gathered to spend the day tasting chowder and enjoying the festival experience which started with Ocean County Emerald Society Pipes & Drum and the National Anthem sung by Ms Hadley Magaziner. The day included children’s activities featuring face painting from Sprinkles the Clown & Sarah Cannovo. Drip Paint Coaster Art by the Lotus Project, Crunchy the T Rex Dino sightings and free festival photo booth provided by Island Party Station and VIP Big Screen Beer Garden. The crowd enjoyed live music featuring Ted Hammock and Jason Booth, The Pickles and The Impulsives. Thank you to all of the attendees who chose to make Chowderfest part of their weekend.

The closing ceremonies for this milestone event began with Tony Luke Jr, the world renowned restaurant entrepreneur and competitive food network star who took the stage to thank all the restaurants for their extraordinary efforts. Before the event began he wished each competitor good luck at their booth. Tony Luke Jr performed a cover of Bob Dylan’s, “Make You Feel My Love” to the crowd. Tony launched the #brownandwhite initiative designed to fight the stigma surrounding opioid and heroin addictions in memory of his son Anthony. He recently released the single and video dedicated to his son and the families impacted by this epidemic that crosses all social and economic boundaries. It is available on itunes for download. Glenn Kalina from WJRZ FM served as Master of Ceremonies assisted by Southern Ocean County Chamber Officers, Edible Jersey Publisher Mr. Ray Painter Tony Luke Jr. Todd Elsasser, Chowderfest Coordinator announced 2018 awards New England: Grand Champion Howard’s Restaurant, 2nd Place: Chicken or the Egg 3rd Place Country Kettle Chowda. Manhattan: Grand Champion: Lefty’s 2nd Place: Stefano’s 3rd Place: Buckalews. Creative Chowder: Grand Champion: Blue Water Café
2nd Place: Nancy’s Barn 3rd Place: The Woo Hoo Rookie of the Year: Nancy’s Barn Ireland. Best Interpretation of the Theme: Country Kettle Chowda. Best Shore Motiff Black Whale Bar & Fish House. Most Enthusiastic Nancy’s Barn Ireland, Most Creative Booth: Delaware Oyster House. In addition, the 2018 Grand Champions received special recognition award from Edible NJ Magazine.

A special thank you to the 19 hard working restaurants that pleased and fed crowds throughout the day: Blue Water Cafe, Cuisine on the Green at Atlantis, Delaware Avenue Oyster House & Bar, La Bamba, Nancy’s Barn Ballyliffin, Sunny Rae’s Kitchen, The Woohoo, Bistro 14 Restaurant & Raw Bar, Black Whale Bar & Fish House, Buckalew’s Restaurant & Tavern, Lefty’s Tavern, Ocean County College’s hospitality club, Stefano’s Restaurant, Country Kettle Chowda, Howard’s Seafood Restaurant, Polly’s Dock, The Chicken or the Egg (CHEGG), Tuckers Tavern and Wally’s.
In honor of the 30th anniversary, last year’s restaurants voted for a qualifying non profit to be the Chowder for A Cause Charity to benefit from a portion of net proceeds of this year’s event. David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation was selected and has partnered with the chamber throughout the anniversary year. The event also serves as environmental non profit ReClam The Bay’s major fundraiser of the year selling chowder caddies while educating attendees the importance shellfish have in our eco system. The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank 2018 Presenting Sponsors: Sysco, Barefoot Wine, The Sandpaper/Beachcomber, Bud Light, Ritchie and Page, Westminster Bakers Co., Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center, DiFeo’s Auto Group, AtlantiCare, Fantasy Island Amusement Park, Atlantic States Group, Panzone’s, G Anderson Agency, Anderson Insurance Agency, Barlow GMC, Ocean County Board of Freeholders and NJ Division of Travel and Tourism and WJRZ- Beasley Media Group. Additional support provided by Buccaneer Motel, Potts Excavating Inc, Sally’s Seafood, The Borough of Beach Haven, Southwick’s Marina, Beach Haven Police, Ship Bottom and Beach Haven Volunteer Fire and First Aid Squad, Thundering Surf and Murphy’s Market, Chowderfest Committee, Chamber Staff and Volunteers. A sincere thank you to all the Merchant Mart vendors, the fantastic band line up on Saturday Garage Kept, 40 North and The Jimmy Brogan Band.

The Chowderfest Committee has already begun plans for their 31st Chowderfest Weekend taking place on October 5 & 6 in 2019. For more information on how to get involved in the regional chamber’s efforts of building the local economy and accredited destination marketing efforts please contact them at 609 494 7211,, or stop into their visitor center at 265 W Ninth Street in Ship Bottom. Stay connected with Chowderfest all year on facebook @theofficialLBIChowderfest or on

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