2017 CCO Competitor Profiles

Open Season

Warwick, RI

OpenSeasonCrewChef/Owner of Open Season Catering, David Livesey will be leading his team as they return for round two of Great Chowder Cook-Off competition. In 2016, Team Open Season, or the Camo Chefs as they prefer to be called, took home 2nd Place in the Clam Category as well the Most Spirited Team and Best Decorated Booth awards! The Camo Chefs are going to kick it up a notch this year and will return with their award winning chowder recipe in the hopes of taking home 1st Place in the clam category. Over the years, Chef Livesey has developed a vast appreciation for the diverse food scene the New England area offers and has brought back lots of culinary tricks from all over the world, including France, Italy and Monaco. Anyone who attends this year’s competition can be sure to taste a chowder that Chef Dave says is “both adventurous, delicious and surprisingly comfortable”.

Sound good? Check them out before the competition!

Chapel Grille

Cranston, RI

ChapelGrilleCrewExecutive Chef Tim Kelly will be representing Chapel Grille of Cranston, RI in their first ever chowder competition. They hope to impress the crowds and take home first place in the seafood category with their New England Lobster-Clam Chowder! Praised by the New York Times, Providence Journal and Rhode Island Monthly, Chef Tim’s chowder creation is sure to delight all of this year’s Chowdaheads. He’s shown off his culinary skills everywhere from Newport to France to New York and now he’s on to the 36th Annual Great Chowder Cook Off!

Intrigued? Check them out before June 10th!

Brix Restaurant at Newport Vineyards

Middletown, RI

BrixCrewExecutive chef Andy Teixeira is leading the team from Brix Restaurant at Newport Vineyards into their first ever Great Chowder Cook-Off competition! They are keeping the details of their seafood chowder creation a secret until the competition in hopes of wowing the crowds. After being born into a family of chefs, Chef Teixeira has a passion and love for serving up food that make people feel good and we expect nothing less from Team Brix on June 10th!

Chef Andy says…
What do you think makes a world champion chowder? “A soup that you can taste the chefs love and heart that they put into preparing it.”

If I could serve my chowder to anyone, it would be…. “Julia Child. I think she would appreciate the love that goes into it.”

If I weren’t a chef, I would be…… “Superhero, wait my kids already think I am one.”

Get a taste before the competition…

Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar

East Greenwich, RI

GreenwichShowing the world what Rhode Island is made of!

Chefs Rob Caramonte and Scott Thompson are bringing back the team from Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar to compete for the second time in this year’s Great Chowder Cook-Off. They will be showing off the superior quality of the ingredients (especially the clams) that are found in this little state! Whether you have grown up in New England eating chowder all your life or are new the region, their chowder is sure to be loved by all. They are planning to wow the crowds this year and take home a prize!

Ask the Chefs…
What makes a world champion chowder?
Fresh ingredients (including unparalleled Rhode Island clams) and a desire to deliver quality products to the consumer.

If we could serve our chowder to anyone it would be…
New Englanders who have grown up eating this dish as well as people from other areas to expose them to food that showcases who this region is through ingredients and flavor.

If we weren’t chefs we would be…
A fisherman and a shepherd

Check them out!

Bristol Plymouth Technical High School

Culinary Arts Program

Taunton, MA


The Bristol Plymouth Culinary Arts Team is set to defend its First-Place Seafood Chowder Award from the 2016 Great Chowder Cook Off! Anchored by Executive Chef Instructor Nuno Sousa, who is now a two- time award winner at the Great Chowder Cook Off, Chef Sousa brings a passion to his Culinary Arts Program that is unequaled. He inspires students daily, leads by example and brings an extreme “can do attitude” to class that makes him a Champion for his students as well as a Great Chowder Cook Off Champion. The student body team is a compilation of all grade levels, they embody work ethic and commitment to the Food service and Hospitality Industry. They are all capable, motivated and exemplify Bristol Plymouth’s dedication to providing a vocational education that makes their graduates immediate assets to industry. Executive Chef W. Scott Cowell, III who is a four-time award winner at the Great Chowder Cook Off and shares Chef Sousa’s energy and dedication to their program is on the team bringing his drive and spirit. The behind the scenes person that pulls the entire group together is Liz Travis. Liz adds a dimension of creativity, enthusiasm, organization and hospitality to the program and the team.

Go Bristol Plymouth Technical High School!


Portsmouth Publick House

Portsmouth, RI


Introducing Executive Chef Bob Edwards of Portsmouth Publick House in Portsmouth RI.

Although he enjoyed working in New Orleans, New York, Boston and Atlantic City, Chef Edwards is happy to be back home in New England. His 40 plus years of experience has a way of expressing his culinary passion.

Our hope is that the crowds at the Great Chowder Cook-Off will taste that passion expressed in his very special lobster seafood chowder.

Check out Portsmouth Publick House online:


The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar

Newport, RI


Chef Chris Ferris is leading the team from The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar of the Newport Group into the brand new Red Chowder Category this year! Chef Ferris has been in the kitchen for nearly thirty years so this year’s chowder creation is sure to impress the crowds. He is planning a Rocky Point red with a Portuguese twist. This Manhattan chowder will have a little kick as well as some baby shrimp! When he’s not working, Chef Ferris likes to golf, walk his dog and of course whip up some seafood pasta for his family and friends.

Chef Ferris and the rest of the team from The Mooring are excited to go up against two other competitors in hopes of bringing the title of best Red chowder to the home of the Great Chowder Cook-Off, Newport!

See what The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar is about:


The Woods Tavern

West Greenwich, RI


Chef Gary Kump and owner Brent Valerien of The Woods Tavern in West Greenwich, RI are leading their team into their first ever Great Chowder Cook-Off! Looking to impress the crowds they will be serving up their own version of a classic New England Clam Chowder. Owner, Brent Valerien has been in the restaurant business for over 25 years and has experience in both front and back of house and purchased The Woods Tavern just this year. He says the secret to a good chowder is the perfect potato – “If it’s overcooked or undercooked, you’re done!”. The clam category is full of tough competition from all over the state but the team from The Woods Tavern is sure they can take the title home to West Greenwich.

Get a Taste Before the Competition…


Nancy’s Barn

Ballyliffin, Ireland


Nancy’s Barn on the International Food Stage
Based in the spectacularly scenic Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal, Ireland, Nancy’s Barn, a quirky and innovative bistro, has been thriving on a well-deserved reputation of serving up a veritable smorgasbord of delicious, culinary treats. Their specialty has become their award-winning seafood chowder for which they have won accolades at every possible level in their home country. Following their recent success in the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off in Kinsale, Co Cork, they now represent Ireland in the World Chowder Championships in Rhode Island, USA on Saturday, 10th June 2017.

For Kieran Doherty (Duey), chef and owner of Nancy’s Barn, it is a prestigious honour to represent his country on an international stage and this accomplishment has been the culmination of hard work and determination, and the realisation of a boyhood dream.

Follow your dreams until they become reality
As a young lad living in rural Donegal, Kieran and his family would often go for a Sunday drive. He explains how from a young age, the large stone building on the edge of Ballyliffin Village always caught his eye:

“We would drive past Nancy’s Barn, formally known as the ‘Craft Shop’ in the seaside town of Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal. I would say to my parents ‘when I get older, I want to buy that old shed’.”

True to his word and making those childhood aspirations a reality, Kieran purchased the building in 2008. He opened Nancy’s Barn as a seasonal coffee shop / bistro and business quickly flourished. Word soon spread of the great coffee, fabulous home-style baking and delicious savoury foods served daily, and the business flourished.

With a dedicated following of customers, ever growing in number, Nancy’s Barn has proved to be a very popular venue on the “Wild Atlantic Way” with its laid-back beach vibe reflecting its proximity to nearby Pollan beach. This coastal theme was further developed and fresh seafood available direct from Greencastle became a signature feature on the menu. Kieran, with a warm passion for good food creations, tried hundreds of chowder recipes and attempted many things to get it right. He finally came up with a delicious recipe that drove his patrons wild – ‘Nancy’s Seafood Chowder with a Spanish twist’. The beauty of it is that the chowder is gluten-free and filed with delicious ingredients. The young, modest chef believes that the secret to any good dish is to “keep it simple; wholesome and tasty all the way”.

Kieran also credits the success of his business to his supportive staff. Four of his hand-picked team who helped him to triumph in Kinsale at the All-Ireland Chowder Championships will join him in the States as they attempt to bring the ultimate victory back to Ireland as world champions.

From Killybegs to Kinsale and on to Rhode Island
The Nancy’s Barn team will be accompanied to the States by Eve-Anne McCarron of Food Coast of Donegal, an initiative of the Local Enterprise Office to promote good food in Donegal. They were sponsors of the Donegal Chowder Cook-off in Killybegs and main sponsor of the Nancy’s Barn team in Rhode Island.

“We are thrilled at Kieran Doherty (Duey) and Nancy’s Barn winning the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-off. It’s a great victory for Donegal seafood,” she said, “and we now look forward to them repeating their success in the US”.

In Newport, Rhode Island in less than a fortnight, hundreds of competitors from across the USA will vie for the top places in three categories: Clam Chowder, Seafood Chowder and Creative Chowder at the world’s original and longest-running chowder championships, now in its 36th year. Huge crowds are expected to sample thousands of gallons of delicious chowder from dozens of restaurants at an informal, farmers’ market-style event with a relaxed, festival atmosphere. The team are grateful for the support they have received from their loyal customers in Ballyliffin and their generous suppliers who have provided sponsorship for this trip. They are excited to welcome lots of the Donegal Diaspora to their stand on the day to sample a taste of Inishowen. Nancy’s Barn, will be there proudly flying the flag for Ireland.

Get a Closer Look at the Competition…
Nancy’s Barn website

Ocean Catch Seafood

Wakefield, RI

OceanCatchChef David Castelli Jr. will be leading the team from Ocean Catch Seafood of Wakefield, RI into their first ever Great Chowder Cook-Off! Chef Castelli has been in the kitchen and seafood markets since age 9 so he knows just about all there is to know about seafood. Forty years of training is sure to add up to a New England Clam Chowder that will impress the Chowdaheads on June 10th.

Chef Castelli says…
Q: What do you think makes a world champion chowder?
A: Taste and texture.

Q: If I could serve my chowder to anyone, it would be…
A: Chef Ramsay

Q: If I weren’t a chef, I would be…
A: Missing out on my life’s passion.

Check them out!

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