Chowder, chowder everywhere
Greg Weber from The Snapper Inn serves sumptuous soup to Terry O’Neill (left) and Sue Grant at the annual LI Chowder Contest.

SCN/Musetti Carlin

Chowder, chowder everywhere


OAKDALE—The 18th annual Long Island Chowder Contest, which was held at the beautiful, historic Snapper Inn on the Connetquot River in Oakdale on Saturday, has proven to be one of the most popular events of the winter season.  

Many of the dedicated chowder-lovers who have been attending this soup-lovers’ showdown for years were not disappointed with the tasty entries. Gaily chatting to each other with the fireplace aglow as a backdrop, they lined up at the restaurant’s soup stations.   Old friends and neighbors reminisced about past chowder contests. 

“We’ve been coming to this for 18 years, since the very beginning,” said Diane Atkinson, who worked at The Snapper Inn for George Remmer Sr. from 1965-75. Her son, Patrick Atkinson, noted, “When we were little, Mr. Remmer would take us into the back and give us all ice cream. He was a great man who treated us as family.”

Monique Dussault came at noon with her husband and their friends to savor hot soup and sip cocktails. “I’ve been coming forever and we will keep coming back.” She added jokingly, “Day drinking, chowder, close to doesn’t get any better!”

I have to agree.  Yours truly has attended for about 10 years with a growing group of girlfriends.  Several of the restaurants’ chefs have their recipes in my “Country Comfort” cookbooks.  My group all agreed Snapper Inn should win first place in at least one category.  And they did.  The judges were: Carl LoBue of the Great South Bay Nature Conservancy, whose group directly benefits from donations collected throughout the day; Wayne Horsely, Long Island State Parks and Recreation; Kathy Heinlein, Captree Fishing Fleet; and Nick Burford, Blue Point Brewing Company. They chose Snapper Inn’s Manhattan clam chowder, which was full of tender clams, for first place. Irish Coffee Pub, East Islip, took second.  First-place winner for the New England clam chowder was La Tavola of Sayville, which served a unique, spicy Italian chowder poured over a potato croquette and topped with a crumbly mix of bread and bacon. Second place in that category went to The Oar from Patchogue and The Snapper Inn took third. The last category and my favorite was the rich, creamy bisque.  Irish Coffee Pub placed first. Snapper Inn took second, whose seafood bisque boasted the most tender, delicious shrimp.

To round out an afternoon of fun, B103MAX-FM’s Frank the Wiseman played trivia games and handed out fabulous  prizes every few minutes.  Thanks to her football knowledge, Sayville’s Terry O’Neill won four tickets to the Long Island Aquarium.  

Mark your calendars for next year.  You don’t want to miss this delicious event.