IT’S OFFICIAL! Fitzpatrick’s makes the best chowder in Ireland!
Danny Fitzpatrick, chef-owner of Fitzpatrick’s Bar and Restaurant, Dundalk has been crowned All Ireland Chowder Champion 2014 at the 4th All Ireland Chowder Cook-Off, sponsored by Clona which took place in Kinsale on Sunday, 13th April.
A record attendance of over 1000 people travelled to Acton’s Hotel for the event which saw chefs from all over Ireland serve steaming pots of delicious chowder to ticket holders, who were also the judges of the event. Members of the public had only one vote to cast for the best of 32 chowders. On entry, everyone received a voting card that allowed them to sample all chowders from the individual stalls before casting their vote.
Competition among the chefs, who had travelled from all parts of Ireland seeking the title of All Ireland Chowder Champion, was intense. The chowders were many and diverse, with such variations as a roast red pepper base, queen scallops, lobster, smoked mackerel, mussels, clams, and hand-made ravioli. Crab crostini, seaweed scones and home-baked bread on the side provided a wide variety of tastes and textures.
Visiting chefs revealed some of their trade secrets to MC Derek Davis during the event. But it was Fitzpatrick’s seafood-rich chowder, presented under the banner “The smallest county with the biggest chowder” that won the most votes. This was especially rewarding for Danny, wife Dympna and their team, as the Louth bar and restaurant had been voted into second place at the 2013 Chowder Cook-Off. Eugene Callaghan of Kelly’s Resort Hotel, Co. Wexford won second prize this year, and in third place was Ryan’s Bar, Navan, Co. Meath with Damien Clarke and his team.”
Winner Danny Fitzpatrick received a customised trophy, and will travel to Newport, Rhode Island, USA in June, 2015 to represent Ireland in the Great Chowder Cook-Off, following in the footsteps of Noel Wallace of Bunratty Manor, Clare and John McGrath / Frank Walsh of the West Bar, Westport.
The runners-up won weekend tickets to the Kinsale Gourmet Festival in October 2014, and a Kinsale landscape print.
The event was preceded by balloon modellers and face painting, and an appearance by the Kinsale Giant Chef, a firm favourite with the children. Later King K entertained the crowd, who lingered enjoying the buzz and the sun.