Maybe this is just a California thing, but do there exist restaurants whose clam chowder isn’t “award winning”? Where are all these contests happening, and why is clam chowder the only thing deserving of awards?
The menu red flag thread deserves this post. That said, clam chowder doesn’t seem to be bring out competitive juices the way barbecue and chili do, maybe because the centerpiece isn’t as widely available, or trophies are handed out willy-nilly for showing up with a pot of chowder . . .
I’ve never seen that around here…and there is a whole lot of clam chowder going on in the fall (in addition to clam bakes).
Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Pismo Beach, Bodega Bay all have clam chowder contests. Similar to garlic/asparagus/mushroom festivals, they are community fund raisers. Some places have bbq contests.
We have annual clam chowder contests here on the East End of Long Island, all the larger villages…been going on a long time, although there are not so many contestants to cover the entire country. People out here are aware of who is the winner every year though, it’s a big deal.
It’s very similar to curry houses in the UK, many seem to be recipients of awards, or have been voted the best indian restaurant. and they all have impressive certificates proudly displayed attesting to their success.
Unfortunately they are never awards from any organisation I have heard of and there is definitely an inverse relationship between the quality of the foods and how impressive the awards are.
I always wondered if there was a section of the local restaurant trade shop with blank awards for restaurants to buy.
Santa Cruz clam chowder cook off at the Boardwalk has been happening for quite sometime now . I haven’t been in a while . I live in Santa Cruz . There are some great ones I tasted at it . But the best clam chowder , New England style , is made at the Dunsmuir brewery on Fridays , If your ever in that neck of the woods . It’s a must . Seriously . The two young guys that make it are culinary trained and also put out some great food .
Too many so called competition, and too many awards. It means nothing.
Seems like every steakhouse has been voted one of the top ten in America also!
It does not seem similar to what you have described in the UK. In the US, small communities use a regional or popular food to base a community fund raising event.
Tourism in California is economically important to many. “Food festivals” are a part of our economy, philanthropy and recreation.
Not identical but I would suggest the same commercial intent.
A small group get together and select an “award” winner, there isn’t really that much competition and there isn’t really much of a benchmark.
They are “awards” that stimulate trade in the “economically important” tourist industry in “small communities”. Of course they are meaningful…
Exactly , couldn’t have said it better .