The Clammiest Competition

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Seattle's waterfront location provides the city with gorgeous views, scenic ferry rides, incredible wildlife, and best of all, fresh seafood. Nine of the city's waterfront restaurants competed today in a competition of endurance and talent to see who could master the chicken soup of the sea - clam chowder.

The 14th Annual Chowder Cook-Off Competition was hosted by the Edgewater Hotel at their restaurant, Six Seven. The panel of judges was made up of "local celebrities", including "Downtown Joe" of radio station KZOK.

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"The job I was born to do," says Downtown Joe
The "cook-off" was not as action packed as one might imagine. There was no enormous kitchen, chowder sloshing out of boiling pots, and chefs screaming at one another for more pepper. In fact, the chowder in this competition was pre-made and brought to the Edgewater kitchen, where it remained heated until competition.

The judges were served each chowder one at a time and were to write down their scores for each dish based on taste, texture, and aroma. There were three chances for fortune and fame for contestants, who could win the "Most Traditional Chowder", the "Cutting Edge Chowder", or the "Most Clammy" award. Competing in this years cook-off were Six Seven, Anthony's Pier 66, Ivar's, Elliott's Oyster House, The Crab Pot, The Fisherman's Restaurant and Bar, Bell Harbor Conference Center, Steamer's Seafood Cafe at Pier 56, and Seattle Marriott Waterfront.

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The judges hard at work

In addition to the three categories of awards the celebrity judges vote on, there was a "Celebrity Choice" award, as well as a "People's Choice". For the latter, Seattlites taste-test and vote this Saturday, May 8th from 11 am til 5 pm for the best tasting chowder. Participants just have to buy a "Passport" from participating restaurants and sponsors for five bucks, and then go stop by the 9 neighboring eateries for a free sample of the goods. Finally fill out and cast their ballot (which is on the passport).

Six Seven won the People's Choice in 2009, which is why they hosted the competition this year. Anthony's, however, was a favorite with the celebrity judging last year. The two go head to head in the cook-off again for the 2010 awards.

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Six Seven chef Jordan Mackey seeks glory at this years competition.

The results from the celebrity judging are as follows:

Overall Celebrity Choice:

1st Place: Bell Harbor Conference Center

2nd Place: Anthony's

3rd Place: Fisherman's Restaurant

Other Awards:

Traditional Chowder: Anthony's

Cutting Edge: Bell Harbor

Clammiest: Six Seven at The Edgewater

The Chowder Cook-Off Competition kicks off the Seattle Maritime Festival, which runs May 6th through May 8th. Along the waterfront there will be family friendly activities including tugboat races, a boat building competition and more.

 
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