ST. PETE BEACH — Chefs from more than 20 area restaurants will vie for the most votes at the sixth annual Chowder Challenge & More on Sunday, Nov. 10, 1 to 5 p.m., at Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach.
This event pits the best chefs in the area against each other as they compete for the coveted Golden Ladle Award and Best in Show chosen by local celebrity judges, and People’s Choice, selected by those in attendance.
This event is hosted by the Pass-A-Grille Woman’s Club and the city of St. Pete Beach. Proceeds benefit the woman's club and its chosen charities, some of which have included CASA, Daystar Life Center, Support Our Troops, Ronald McDonald House and Toys for Tots.
This year’s celebrity judges are Kevin Godbee, co-founder, stpetersburgfoodies.com; foodservice culinarian Bobbie Huston; and Matthew Smith, executive chef at the Hangar Restaurant and Flight Lounge. They will select the best entry for the Golden Ladle Award based on taste, appearance and presentation including the décor and ambiance of their station and the chef’s professionalism. They will also select Best in Show chowder and non-chowder based on taste and appearance.
The event is held rain or shine and includes live music by Laurie Loyst, who has been singing professionally for over 35 years in theme parks, cruise ships, off-Broadway and with jazz ensembles. Beers, select wines, soda, water and desserts will be available for purchase. The event also will feature a salute to veterans with a color guard, singing of the national anthem and a military induction ceremony. A large tent with seating is provided. Attendees taste and vote on their favorite chowders, or soups, to select the top three People's Choice Awards.
More than 100 donated items worth more than $10,000 will be raffled off and there will also be a silent auction.
Tickets are $15 in advance for adults and $20 at the event. Children 12 and younger will be admitted for free with the purchase of one adult ticket. To purchase tickets, visit www.chowderchallengepag.com or www.eventbrite.com under Chowder Challenge.
"Last year's Chowder Challenge was such a success,” said Sue Rea, president of the Pass-A-Grille Woman's Club. “We had more than 800 people come out from all across the community to enjoy some great chowders and soups. We are always so grateful to the hundreds of businesses who support our efforts through sponsorships and raffle and silent auction items. Participants get some great deals and we get to support our club and our select charities. And, we have a lot of fun!"
As of Oct. 24, the following restaurants are scheduled to compete at the event: Buona Ristorante, Caddy’s, Custom Cafe & Catering, Culinary School at Pinellas Technical College, Gayle's Restaurant, Gennaro’s Isla del Sol Yacht & Country Club, Kao Thai Kitchen, Mid Peninsula Seafood, Nana Nif's, Paradise Grille, Portofino Italian Ristorante, Ricky T's Bar & Grille, Sea Hags Bar & Grill, Shells, the Deck, the Dewey Beach Restaurant, the Island Grille & Raw Bar, the Oyster Bar and the Rowe Bar at the Don Cesar.