Chowder Cook-Off

Sunday,  October 8, 2017
10:00am – 2:00pm

CJHF logoYou are invited to the 5th Annual Benefit Chowder Cook-Off sponsored by Captain Joseph House, a place of respite and healing for the Gold Star Veteran Families of our Fallen Heroes. All proceeds go to Captain Joseph House Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
Visitors can enjoy watching the chefs in action, taste the various chowders, and vote for their favorite! The more tickets they buy, the more chowder they can sample and the more “People’s Choice” votes they get!

We are excited to welcome Celebrity Master Chef Shaun O’Neale, who will preside and judge the 2017 Cook-Off!

Enjoy country music by Buck Ellard!

Applications, registration fees and cookbook entries are due by September 15, 2017.

The 2017 application and complete information may be downloaded from the links below:

Download Welcome Letter:  2017 Chowder Welcome letter
Download Application: 2017 Chowder Application
Download Fact Sheet: 2017 Chowder Fact Sheet
Download Press Release with Call for Chefs: 2017 Chowder Press Release – Call for Chefs 4-10-17
Download Food Service Permit Application:  Food Service Permit
Download Flyer: Stay Tuned

8:00-10:00am  Set-up by contestants
10:00am           Cook-Off begins – No food prep or cooking allowed before this time
12:00pm          Cooking ends – chowder must be completed by this time
12:00pm          Tasting for the public begins
12:45pm          Chowder Judging and tasting by Master Chef O’Neale
1:45pm             People’s Choice votes tallied
2:00pm             Official Award Ceremony and presentations by Master Chef O’Neale

Professional – for those currently operating or employed in the food service industry
Amateur – open to anyone; no experience required

The Cook-Off will be held at the Clallam Transit Center, a half-block west of the main Crab Festival tent (which is at the Red Lion Hotel parking lot) between Front Street and Railroad Avenue in Port Angeles, Washington. This is a rain or shine event.

A special thank you to the Clallam Transit System Employees’ Association for sponsoring our use of the Gateway transit lanes!

Visitors can purchase unlimited tickets in increments of $10.00 for 5 tickets.  Each purchase includes 5 chowder tastes (2 oz. each).

We are excited to welcome Celebrity Master Chef Shaun O’Neale who will preside and serve as official judge. Prizes to be awarded:

  • $500.00 Best Overall Chowder
  • $300.00 People’s Choice Chowder
  • $100.00 First Runner up in Professional and Amateur Chef categories

People’s Choice Award:
There will be a People’s Choice award. Each chowder that has been entered will have a separate container, one per recipe, for People’s Choice voting. Votes are by monetary donation for your favorite chowder. Votes are $1.00 each and there is no dollar limit on your vote to decide People’s Choice Award.

Entries will be judged on taste, aroma, color, texture and nourishment.

Chowder Definition
For the purposes of this Cook-Off, the chowder recipe may be seafood, a combination of seafood and vegetables, or vegetarian. Other ingredients and seasonings are optional.

Decorated Booth Award
Tablecloths and booth decorations are encouraged, but not required. Many teams have a common theme for their chowder name, attire and decorations. A prize will be given for the Best Decorated Booth!

Professional:   $45.00 first entry ($22.50 if submitted by 7-15-17), $22.50 each additional entry
Amateur:         $20.00 first entry ($10.00 if submitted by 7-15-17), $10.00 each additional entry
All entry fees go directly to Captain Joseph House Foundation and are tax-deductible.
Applications must be submitted by September 15, 2017 to allow time for County Health Department review and approval.


Cooking & Serving – ALL ingredients must be posted on each table, for the public to view. All types of seafood chowder & combinations are allowed, i.e. fish, corn, veggie, clam, crab, etc.  Chowder must be served in the containers provided by the Captain Joseph House Foundation committee. Serving size is two ounces.

Chowder Quantity – You must be prepared to cook a minimum of 4 gallons of chowder. The more you cook the more votes you may collect to win the People’s Choice award. We expect another sell-out year! Reimbursement of expenses up to $50.00 per entry will be provided if requested. Please include receipts with request.

Cooking Time – Cooking starts at 10:00am and ends at noon.  No food preparation or cooking may begin before 10:00am, and chowder must be completed by 12:00pm, when serving begins. An official from the Cook-Off committee will pick up samples of each chowder prepared and present to the judge at 12:45 pm. No chowder may be served before noon.

Space and Prep Time – No advance food prep is allowed, and no prepared food may be brought in per Clallam County Dept. of Health regulations. Each Chef/Team will be given a full 10’ x 10’ space in which to cook. There will be NO centralized hand washing stations or on-site cleaning stations for utensils and equipment. Therefore, each Chef/Team is required to provide these facilities for their station.

Booth Setup and Equipment – Please plan to bring everything you will need for the day. All equipment and supplies must fit in your 10’ x 10’ space. Bring a 10’ x 10’ tent or canopy, including required weights for each corner, and tables as needed. Coolers and ice are required for keeping items at proper and safe temperature. Ice is not available on-site. Use propane stoves or charcoal/wood grill cookers to cook chowder, as NO ELECTRICITY IS AVAILABLE; your booth must be self-contained. Because of noise concerns, no generators may be used in your cooking area.

Dept. of Health Requirements – Captain Joseph house has made special arrangements with the Clallam County Department of Health. The usual fee of $115.00 has been waived if the Team completes and submits documents in a timely manner to Captain Joseph House, as follows:

  • Complete Health Dept. Application for Temporary Food Service Permit
  • Copy of Food Preparation Form
  • Copy of Food Worker Card (Food Handler Permit) for team leader (CJHF recommends for all team members handling food)
  • Copy of the Captain Joseph House waiver (provided by Cook-Off committee)

All documents must be submitted by September 15, 2017.  Late applications will incur a fee of $57.50 to participate in the Chowder Cook-Off.

The individual registering for the team must have or obtain a Food Worker Card (Food Handler Permit). Applications may be made online for a $10.00 fee.

Key Bank, Sherwood Assisted Living, and Clallam Transit System Employees’ Association


Winner – Professional Division
Chef Chris Freeman and Team “Rockin’ Deuce” from Missouri
Previous wins include the 2015 Professional Division and the 2015 People’s Choice award

Winner – Amateur Division
Chef Joe Borden and Team “J & T East Coast Chowder” from Sequim, Washington
Previous wins include the 2014 Amateur award

Winner – People’s Choice
Chef Chris Freeman and Team “Rockin’ Deuce” from Missouri
Previous wins include the 2015 Professional Division and the 2015 People’s Choice award

Professional division winner Chef Chris Freeman

Professional division winner Chef Chris Freeman

Graham Kerr judging chowder (1)

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Captain Joseph House Foundation
1108 S. Oak Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362    (360) 460-7848

Captain Joseph House Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation
Contributions, gifts and bequests are tax deductible

About Captain Joseph House

Chowder Cook-off Kerr with Winners 2013
Chef Graham Kerr with the 2013 Cook-off winners from Oasis Bar and Grill