Good chowder for a good cause

By Tanner Harding | Sep 10, 2017
Photo by: Tanner Harding Andrew Daniel of the Rochester Facilities Department took home second place at the competition. His chowder had shrimp, crab, lobster and roasted corn.

Mattapoisett — What makes a good chowder? Some say it's fresh quahogs, others say it's the seasoning, and still others swear the secret lies within an old family recipe.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference.

A mix of 15 restaurants and public safety agencies brought their best chowder to the Knights of Columbus in Mattapoisett on Sunday for the Mattapoisett Firefighters Association's third annual Chowder Competition, which raises money for the association.

The top three winners were named in both the "professional establishment" category and the public safety category. Additionally, there was a people's choice winner in each category.

The Rochester Fire Department took home both first place and people's choice in the public safety category. Deputy Chief Albert Weigel was in charge of the chowder, and credits the award-winning taste to a family recipe.

"And we use top-of-the-line ingredients," Louise Wiegel added.

In the professional establishment category, Lindsey's Family Restaurant in East Wareham took home first place.

"I would say it's the love and devotion to it," Jessica Beliveau said about what makes their chowder so good. She also added that their chowder was more of a seafood bisque. "We use lobster, shrimp and scallops in a sherry wine. We always use fresh products."

The Lebanese Kitchen took home the people's choice for professional establishment, a feat for a restaurant that's not yet open.

"We'll be open in about a month or month and a half or so," Gary Moujabber said.

As for the chowder?

"My mom made it," he said. "We do everything from scratch."

The second- and third-place winners for public safety were Rochester Facilities and Marion Harbormaster, respectively. For professional establishments, Rasputin's Tavern in Fairhaven took home second, and The Stowaway of Mattapoisett took home third with its unusual bacon cheeseburger chowder.

"In a room full of horses," John Mello of The Stowaway explained, "we wanted to be a zebra."

The Moujabber family from The Lebanese Kitchen won the people's choice award in the professional establishment category. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
Mary Bruce, Jamie McIntosh, Jill Perry and Garry Buckminster of the Wareham Harbormaster Department had fresh clams from Onset Harbor in their chowder. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
Rochester Deputy Fire Chief Albert Weigel and Louise Wiegel. Rochester Fire took home the first place win for public safety. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
The Stowaway served a bacon cheeseburger chowder and came away with third place. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
Paul Andrews of the Mattapoisett Police Department said he kept his chowder classic. "I use butter, clams...you get a lot of people who ruin it and then it's not clam chowder if you ask me." (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
Isaac Perry, Peter Bourgault and Adam Murphy of the Marion Harbormaster Department took third place in the public safety category. Their secret? "Bacon and Irish butter," Perry said. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
Shannon Costa and Jessica Beliveau from Lindsey's Family Restaurant took home first in the professional establishment category. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
Abigale Eldridge and Charlotte Casey dance with Sparky (Lauren Eldridge). (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
Adam Murphy, 8, enjoyed getting to hang out in the fire trucks. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
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