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Beara Coast Hotel claims Kinsale chowder crown

April 17th, 2017 5:35 PM

By Southern Star Team

Overall winners of the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off at the weekend in Kinsale were Mark Johnston and Mark Golden from the Beara Coast Hotel in Castletownbere receiving their trophy from Liam Edwards (left), chairperson of the Kinsale Good Food Circle, watched by Denis Mulvihill from sponsors Clona.

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BY KIERAN O’MAHONY

IT was celebrations all round for Mark Johnston and his team from the Beara Coast Hotel in Castletownbere after they became the first Cork winner at the 7th All-Ireland Chowder Cook-off in Kinsale last weekend, claiming the title of All-Ireland Chowder Champion.

Mark, who runs the hotel with Mark Golden, described the win at the annual event as not only a win for their hotel but a win for the West Cork region for which they are ambassadors.

‘A win such as this is not only a welcome pick-me-up for myself, but our entire team as without our teams then who are we after all?’ Mark told The Southern Star.

‘As they say, if you can’t make chowder in Castletownbere, then where can you make it? We use only the freshest fish for the chowder, that’s one of the secrets as when the fish is delivered, the chowder mix is cut first so no using the left-over cuttings here. Every chowder here is made to order so the guests get the full flavour of the fish every time.’

Some 25 professional chefs from all over the country converged on Ireland’s ‘gourmet capital’ for the competition, which was the highlight of a two-day food festival, hosted by the town’s Good Food Circle.

The best chowder was judged by the ticket holders, many of whom had travelled from all over Ireland to support their competing chef. Around 1,000 people sampled a variety of delicious chowders, noting their preference on a card before casting their votes.

The Beara Coast Hotel representative will travel to Newport, Rhode Island, Kinsale’s twin town, next summer as a guest judge in the Newport, Rhode Island, chowder competition. 

They also received the Derek Davis Perpetual Trophy, named in memory of the event’s original compere. The trophy was commissioned from Kinsale Silver especially for the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off and designed and made in their Market Street premises.

Liam Edwards of the Kinsale Good Food Circle thanked all the chefs and their teams for travelling to Kinsale at their own expense and putting on such a fine display of seafood: ‘It was a great day for seafood, a great day for chowder and a great day for everybody,’ said Liam.

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