PORT CANAVERAL, Florida – Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar took top honors as the Judge’s Choice at the 28th Annual Chowder Cook-Off with a Twist, presented by the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Over a thousand people attended the event Friday evening, February 1st, in Cruise Terminal #4 at Port Canaveral, Florida.
This year, twenty area restaurants gave the public a chance to sample their delicious chowder and their favorite appetizers. Also, those who attended enjoyed the performance from the steel drum band, Rhythm Steel. The silent auction had more than 50 baskets ranging from out-of-town hotel stays to private parties.
Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar was chosen as the ‘best chowder’ on the Space Coast by a panel of celebrity judges. Baja Tavern & Eats finished in second place and Doubletree by Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront’s 3 Wishes Restaurant took third. Judging by a blind taste test, Port Commissioner Tom Weinberg, Mike & Mindy from Lite Rock Radio and Chef David from Ship Yard Brewery were tasked with trying more than 30 samples of Chowder and ‘Twists.’
Coconuts on the Beach was presented the People’s Choice Award, determined by a popular vote of the attendees.
Baja Tavern & Eats won for best ‘twist’ with their lobster dip. Holiday Inn Melbourne-Viera Hotel received second place for their Rendezvous Wrap and Florida Key Lime Pie Company took third place for their key lime pie.
In the Best Decorated Contestant Booth category, Wild Ocean Seafood Market took home first place. The winner of the Best Decorated Vendor Booth went to Kennedy Space Center Credit Union.
This year’s event was chaired by Jeanna Merrifield with Wild Ocean Seafood Market and Jane Vester with Space Coast Dine Around and More. Sponsors include: Wild Ocean Seafood Market was the VIP Sponsor, Preston McIntyre with Spectrum Productions was the production sponsor, Norman’s Raw Bar & Grill was the Bar Sponsor, Walk About Golf and Country Club, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Portable Air, 98.5 Beach Radio , Legendary Cocoa Beach and Space Coast Fun Guide.
The Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce was established in 1968 and serves Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island, Patrick Air Force Base, Port St. John, Rockledge, Palm Shores, Suntree and Viera.