BY BILL SCHLICHTING, Pilot Staff Writer
More than $550 was raised for Oasis House at the 2002 Chowder Cook-off at the Port of Brookings Harbor Saturday.
Ten cooks entered their chowder for people to sample and vote for the best. A total of 164 ballots were counted, and City Grill Restaurant won the People's Choice Award with 33 votes.
It was a close race with other contestants like Donna Hensley and Michael Gomez garnering 24 votes, Hungry Clam with 23, O'Holleran's with 20 and Marty Glazebrook receiving 19.
However, three judges sitting away from the festivities - cleansing their palates between samples and not hearing the sound of the chefs pushing the ingredients - gave Larry Daniel of O'Holleran's the vote for the best chowder entered by Brookings restaurants.
Hungry Clam won second place and City Grill received third place in the restaurant division.
Glazebrook, who with the help of Susan Wimberly in a chicken suit serving chowder, won first place in the individual competition. Shirley Bates and Hensley won second- and third-place ribbons respectively. Hensley was sponsored by Alder Medical Center.
Judges were Kevin Bane, Leanne McCurley and Don Tilton. The trio tasted the various chowders in the foyer of Slugs 'n Stones 'n Ice Cream Cones.
Outside under a tarp shelter, people heard everything from Gomez sharing his recipe to those who tasted his chowder made with chicken broth to Wimberly humorously telling people to eat more chowder and less chicken.
Gomez, a TV chef, said his chowder was made with chicken broth is made by cooking the fish ingredients, mixing in the chicken broth before serving, then adds fresh herbs to the bowl. Gomez called it chicken of the sea.
The youngest chef in the competition was 11-year-old Dani Olson, daughter of Dale and Cheryl Olson, owners of Hungry Clam.
Dani said her parents showed her how to make the chowder then she did it. This was the fourth time she has made the soup, she said.
People eating chowder samples also were treated to entertainment by an unnamed bluegrass band consisting of vocals, banjos, autoharp and an old-fashioned string attached to a stick and a washtub.
The event was one of two cook-offs scheduled each year to raise funds for Oasis House, a battered women's shelter in Gold Beach. An information table was set up that included raffles for Rogue River jet boat excursions.
Coming July 4 will be a chili cook-off on the port's boardwalk. Entry information will be announced. Wimberly was overheard saying she may dress up as a pig for that event.