Do you know who is considered America's #1 chowder? Would you believe it's from a great place called Pike Place Chowder who is located in Seattle WA? Me neither but it's true. You would think a hidden Boston or Maine gem right? Nope, these guys hail from the great northwest and are so popular that they rank second to only the Space Needle on what to do in Seattle.
Owner and Chef Larry Mellum saw that Seattle needed great chowder. Now he's no fool. He might not be located in New England but he gets a lot of his ingredients from the east coast, most importantly his clams! Over the years, he's refined his various recipes such that he's often told he's got the best chowder anywhere.
He decided to see if that's true and years ago entered his first chowder contest and he won. Then he entered contests up and down the west coast and won those too. However, everyone shrugged off the accomplishment saying "that's nice Larry but can you beat anyone from New England?". With the help of his employees, they entered Newport Rhode Island's Great Chowder Cook-off AND they won. Not just once, but several times and now they are in the Great Chowder Cook Off Hall of Fame. They've entered so many contests around the country and finished 1st or 2nd most of the time that Pike Place Chowder is generally accepted as the #1 chowder in the country. No other restaurant has gone to such lengths to continually prove they are the best.
Well, Pike Place Chowder isn't resting on their laurels and have accepted an invite to compete in Chowdafest. Chowdafest will undoubtedly give them their biggest challenge to date. With every New England state represented and with 40 award winning restaurants in the competition, they have their work cut out for them.
With the addition of Pike Place Chowder, Chowdafest now reaches from coast to coast! I'm not sure how many people read this blog but we're letting you know first that Pike's is coming!
Jim Keenan: Creator and Chief Chowda-head.