The 35th Annual Great Chowder Cook-Off

The legendary Great Chowder Cook-Off is the original and longest running event of its kind in the nation, and officially kicks off Rhode Island’s summer festivities!

Enjoy endless samples of traditional and exotic creations- 21 competitors from RI to Ireland with 22 competing chowders! You vote for your favorites and the winners walk away with overflowing prize pots and bragging rights for the year!

There’s continuous live entertainment, spirited competitor antics, lots of activities for the littlenecks, and Rhode Island celebrity appearances from TV and Radio keep the festivities lively!

Now a favorite Rhode Island tradition for 35 years the Great Chowder Cook-Off has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors near and far to celebrate summer on the waterfront at this unique and dynamic event!

Saturday, June 18th, 2016
12:00pm to 6:00pm (11:00am Early Entry for Chowdahead Ticketholders only)
Fort Adams State Park, North Lawn

TICKET INFO: Tickets on sale NOW!  Click Here to Buy!
Advance Price: $20, available through June 17th
Day-Of Event: $25, available on June 18th
Kids: Kids under 12 are free with a paying adult, no kids ticket is needed
Chowdahead Club Ticket: $20 – SOLD OUT

Ticket includes all-you-can-eat chowder samples, live entertainment, kid’s activities, and sponsor sampling. Food & beverage is available for sale, please see details below in the “Additional Food & Beverage” section.

General Admission event, No Reserved seating, and Re-Entry is allowed.
Please note that your ticket may show a “seat location”, however, the location is for internal purposes only, just ignore that!

All The Buzz!

Press Release: With 19 Competitors To-Date Ready To Get Things Stirring, The Great Chowder Cook-Off Announces Addition Of “Best Of Best” Category For Chowder Hall Of Famers
South Coast Prime Times: Chef Norbert of Clifton Heathcare Campus on Competing in the Great Chowder Cook-off
Providence Journal: Early-Entry Tickets to Newport’s Great Chowder Cook-Off Going on Sale

The “Chowdahead Club” tickets include an 11 a.m. preview at the June festival, an hour before the crowds… [read more]

Check out the WPRI 12 / Fox Providence TV promo for the Great Chowder Cook-Off!


SOLD OUT – The Chowdahead Club is an exclusive pass for our hardcore Chowder Cook-Off fans! Membership grants you access to the Chowder Power Hour, a one-hour preview event from 11am-12pm before the gates officially open to the public. Members can navigate the event before the crowds arrive, meet the chefs, greet participating team members and get the very first tastes of the 2016 chowder creations.  Tickets are valid for all day access, 11am to 6pm. Kids under 12 are free with a paying adult.


perry-raso-oystermanNEWPORT OYSTER FESTIVAL presented by Matunuck Oyster Farm
The Newport Oyster Festival returns! The best of local shellfish and seafood are presented farmers’ market style, thanks to the Matunuck Oyster Farm.
Your Great Chowder Cook-Off ticket includes admission into the Newport Oyster Festival, no additional ticket is needed.
The event is open from 11am to 6pm.

Some highlights of this include:
2015 Chowderfest-039

  • Delicious oyster varieties from Matunuck Oyster Farm!
  • Raw Bar (Oysters, Clams and Shrimp Cocktail), Lobster Rolls, and more!
  • Full Bar with Beer, Wine & Cocktails
  • Bistro-style tables and seating
  • On the Oyster Festival Stage:Matunuck Oyster Farm2
    • The Oyster 411 with Perry Raso of Matunuck Oyster Farm Educational presentations
    • Contests hosted by 94 HJY DJs- Oyster Shucking, Oyster Slurping & Beer Shucking Contests
    • Music crafted by DJ Nook

A Little Live Music With Your Chowder!
BigCatBluesphotoIt may be “all about the chowda,” but what’s a summer day on the Newport waterfront without good tunes to pair it with? Ravers Band Photo   hi-res

Our 2016 Entertainment Lineup includes live rock & blues from the Brian Scott Band, Big Cat Blues Band and everyone’s favorite Rhode Island Reggae Band, The Ravers.

Brian Scott PhotoMore details on the entertainment lineup coming soon.

Just For The Littlenecks
Mom & Dad, bring your littlenecks along to enjoy the day. Kids under age 12 are FREE with a paying adult and there is a lot to see and do! Enjoy free kids activities including face painting and balloon creations.

Oyster Slurping, Oyster Shucking and Beer Shucking Contests
Show off your skills at one of the competitions on the Newport Oyster Festival stage. Winners get fun prizes and bragging rights! If you would like to compete in the Oyster Shucking, Slurping or Beer Shucking Contests just be at the Newport Oyster Festival/Matunuck Oyster Farm Stage 15 minutes prior to the contest starting. The contest schedule will be posted near the stage and in our Event Directory.


Newport Jerky
Island Jewelry
Classey Accessories
PJ Creations
Robin Stone Designs
Hands that Rock
Newport Fudgery


2016 Chowder Cook –Off Competitors:

Here’s a current list of this year’s Great Chowder Cook-Off competitors!

Click here to view our 2016 Competitor Profiles!

Grid Iron Ale House + GrilleThe MooringimagesOpen Season Catering logoDavenport'sZambarano Hospital Logo
Waxys logo
Bristol Plymouth Technical High School fireworks logoMcgrath_logo high resGreenwich Bay Oyster Bar logoDans PlaceBoatyard Logo

Bunratty Manor logoClifton HealthCare logo2DiMare-COMBINED-Logo-YWMainSail (Newport Marriott) logotonyshurricane-lukes
Tommy's Clam Shack logo

New Category this Year- Best of the Best! Champions from previous years are invited back to compete with their retired chowder recipes!


  • Tony’s Cedar Key Chowder – Cedar Key, FL: winner 2009, 2010, 2011 Clam Category
  • The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar- Newport, RI: winner 1983, 1985, Clam; 2007, 2008, 2015 Seafood; 2011, 2012 Creative
  • Davenport’s- East Providence & Cumberland, RI: Seafood Chowder 2003, 2004, 2005

Bristol Plymouth Technical High School Also, New This Year!
For the first time in Chowder Cook-Off history one competitor will compete in two categories! Bristol Plymouth Culinary Program will compete in both the Clam & Seafood Categories!



Beverage: Full bars featuring beer, wine and cocktails will be available. All alcoholic beverage is served and consumed in specified areas that are 21 plus only. There will be non-alcoholic beverage available at the bars and in all-ages areas of the event.

Food: There are lots of food options! Check out the options:

  • Saugy’s: Hot Dogs
  • Macray’s Seafood II: Clamcakes
  • Ben & Jerry’s: Ice Cream
  • McGrath Clambakes: Clamcakes
  • Friskie Fries: Plain and Loaded French Fries
  • Pizza Gourmet: Grilled Pizza
  • Matunuck Oyster Farm: Oysters, Clams, Shrimp Cocktail, Lobster Rolls and more!
  • Del’s Lemonade
  • Kettle Corn Express
  • Open Season Catering – offering venison chili, pulled pork quesadilla, all American sliders, veggie burger + more!


Registration for this year’s Chowder Cook-Off is closed but for competitors who want to register for 2017, they should contact Newport Waterfront Events- space is limited!
Do you have what it takes to be a chowder champion? Can your recipe stand up with the best-of-the-best chowders from across the country and beyond? Then come put it to the test at the Great Chowder Cook-Off, Saturday, June 18, 2016, and see if our thousands of attendees will vote yours as “The Best Chowder In The World”.

To make it simple, here’s why we think you, your team and your chowder should join the ranks of competitors vying for such culinary prestige and honor:

  • It’s THE World Championship of Chowder.
    Imitated but not duplicated. Step up to the Big Leagues with the original and longest-running Chowder title competition!
  • The prize money!
    $2,000 goes to the First-Place Winners and there’s a prize pot for second and third place rankings!
  • We make it easy on you.
    Informed and experienced event managers will work with you, offering step-by-step support right through the competition— we take the questions and concerns out of it.
  • Your business will benefit.
    Extensive event marketing, local and regional exposure, increased sales, prestige. Get out of it what you put in—and more.
  • Expand your customer base.
    Introduce your business to thousands of new customers, all eager to try your chowder.
  • Winners come from all parts of the country.
    Here’s just a small sample of our past Champions:
  • Stefano’s Seafood Long Beach Island, New Jersey
  • Tony’s Cedar Key Clam Chowder Cedar Key, Florida
  • Captain Parker’s Pub West Yarmouth, Massachusetts
  • Charlestown Street Café Seattle, Washington
  • Michael’s Seafood Carolina Beach, North Carolina
  • Davenport’s Bar & Grille East Providence, Rhode Island
  • Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar San Francisco, California
  • The West Bar County Mayo, Ireland

To get you started on the first steps toward Chowder Glory, we would like to share our 2016 Competitor’s Package with you, including our Event Background Info and Competitor Orientation Booklet containing answers to all your questions about the event. Please contact Mike Martin, Festival Director, for more information:

Call (888) 900-8640 x707 or email him at mmartin@newportwaterfrontevents.com.



A: Tickets are on sale! Ticket prices are $20 in advance, including the Early Entry Chowdahead Club ticket (SOLD OUT!), and $25 on the day of the event.

It’s easy to grab your tickets! The fastest way to get your tickets is to order online and print them right at home. To order by phone call 1.800.745.3000. A box office and will call will be available on the event day, beginning at 10am and an advance box office is available with limited hours, click here for info.


A: The chowdah and so much more! All-you-can-eat chowder samples from the 21 booths competitors, kids activities, live bands & DJ, sponsor sampling and access to the Newport Oyster Festival presented by Matunuck Oyster Farm. Additional food & beverage is available for sale, including full bars, non-alcoholic beverages, seafood, hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, clam cakes, treats and more. Be sure to check out the details above in “Additional Food & Beverage” and the Newport Oyster Festival info in “Things to Do” for all the offerings at the Great Chowder Cook-Off.


A: Of course! The event is rain or shine and you are welcome to bring an umbrella if it does rain.


A: We love those furry friends, but unless they are certified assistance service animals unfortunately we cannot allow them inside the event.


A: Fort Adams State Park offers limited free parking on event days. There will be other smaller events in the park that day, parking may be limited and cannot be guaranteed.

Experience Newport Harbor & Take a Water Shuttle to Fort Adams! Old Port Marine and the Jamestown Ferry offer access to Fort Adams via water shuttles leaving from both downtown Newport and Jamestown. Get details and schedules here:

Newport Water Shuttle Website: www.OldPortMarine.com

Jamestown Water Shuttle Website: www.JamestownNewportFerry.com

For more about Fort Adams State Park and Getting There, click here: Fort Adams Venue

Bike to Work ChallengeBIKE TO THE FORT!
Click here for details.
Brought to you by RIPTA’s Bike to Work Challenge!


We’re here to help! Just call us at 1.888.900.8640 or drop us an email at info@newportwaterfrontevents.com.


sea-watch-logoOver the past 38 years, Sea Watch has become the largest harvester and processor of clam products in the world. Offering an extensive line of clam products, such as: clam chowder, clam strips, chopped clams, and juice. Also including, value added seafood products, custom formulated soups, USDA and Kosher approved. Sea Watch has a new line of soups we are marketing under the Sea Watch Health Watch brand. These four soups have a clean ingredient statement, low in sodium, American Heart Association certified and packed with flavor. Look for our Clear Broth Clam Chowder, Mediterranean Clam Soup, Clam Chili and New England Clam Chowder in your favorite store.

My-SS-200x52“Stop & Shop helps me Save Time, Save Money and Eat Well!”







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