Custom House Maritime Museum A View of the Museum from Water St.

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CHOWDERFEST! This Saturday on the CHMM Lawn

October 4, 2011


Six Restaurants Compete for coveted “Best Chowder” title

2011 ChowderFest

 PROUDLY SPONSORED BYAtlanticCoastConstruction


NEWBURYPORT, MA (Oct. 4, 2011) –  The 2011 ChowderFest, a competition among local restaurants for the title of “BEST CHOWDER”  takes place from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday on the waterfront lawn behind  The Custom House Maritime Museum.  Everyone is invited to join in the fun, sample a variety of chowders and vote their favorite for the 2011 ChowderFest’s “BEST CHOWDER” title.Ipswich Clambake

In attendance will be six local restaurants including Ipswich Clambake, the 2010 “BEST CHOWDER” winner.  Ipswich Clambake has won other contests in Essex and Ipswich and took third place in the Boston chowder competition just this past July.

“Our Ipswich Clambake Chowder is my husband’s recipe, but my mother takes credit,” said Ipswich Clambake co-owner Michelle Pepin, who explained that her husband was formerly the chef at Ipswich’s Hart House which was then owned by her mother.  “It’s a very simple recipe – not too thick and not too thin, and the secret is the number of clams.”

The GrogCompetitor Matthew Bradley, sous chef at the Grog, said their competing chowder is a cross between a New England and a Manhattan chowder that’s been a favorite at the Newburyport restaurant for more than 40 years.  Bradley said one person in the Grog’s kitchen was once threatened with firing after he tried to change the clams being used.

Starboard Galley

Starboard Galley’s Gary Greco said they will be featuring a spicy southwestern chicken-corn chowder that has had great success at the restaurant over the past three to four years.Ten Center Street
Sean Ryan, manager of 10 Center Street, said they’ll be bringing a traditional clam chowder, Chef Harley Smith’s personal recipe, that features locally-sourced clams and smoked applewood bacon.

Also competing in the event will be Michael’s Harborside and The Black Cow.

Michael's Harborside


The ChowderFest takes place on the waterfront lawn behind the museum from noon to 3 p.m this Saturday.  Admission is just $5 per person and supports the Custom House Maritime Museum.  The event is generously sponsored by Atlantic Coast Construction.


Black Cow

The Custom House Maritime Museum is managed by the Newburyport Maritime Society, Inc., established in 1968 to protect, preserve and communicate the maritime heritage of the Merrimack Valley and its role in American History.  We are connecting the past to the living history of today through interaction and engagement with our unique collection of maritime art, model clipper ships, displays of famous shipwrecks, the history of the United States Coast Guard, and much more.  The Custom Houes building itself on Water Street in the heart of downtown Newburyport was designed by Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument and the U.S. Treasury Building and was built in 1835 to serve the growing overseas trade and to collect taxes on the imported goods in the waterfront.  The museum is open year round for events and activities and daily beginning May 17th from 10 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 4 pm on Sunday and holiday Mondays.  Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students.  Museum members, active military members and children under 6 are admitted free.  For more information, visit the museum website at, or call 978-462-8681, or email

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