A CHEF from Beara has been placed second in the world chowder championship in the US.
Mark Johnson, together with his husband Mark Golden, is co-owner of the Beara Coast Hotel, but he’s also its chef and he succeeded in being included in the world competition after winning the Kinsale All-Ireland Chowder Competition in 2017.
‘Winning in Kinsale meant we were able to travel to Newport in Rhode Island to represent our country against 40 other contestants,’ he said.
Mark said the competition was intense: ‘We had to find a kitchen, but we were lucky because a couple from Dublin, Tom and Cheolynn Sheehan, gave us access to their kitchen at Malt on Broadway.’
They even helped by ordering Mark’s equipment and ingredients before he even set foot on American soil.
‘When I landed,’ Mark said, ‘I was able to cook straight away and on the day of the competition – Saturday, June 2nd – they came and helped us serve our chowder to over 7,500 people. ‘That’s a hundred gallons of chowder,’ said Mark, ‘but the effort was worth it, because we were placed second, and we were able to promote the Beara Peninsula. We brought with us brochures of our hotel, as well as information about other businesses to promote this beautiful part of the country to potential US tourists.’