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“Chowder Taster”: Touring the Clam Chowder Cook-Off

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Philip Howard, left, and Sherry Atkinson, right, with their respective trophies for traditional and non-traditional chowders. Photo by Leanne E. Smith

Special to the Ocracoke Observer. The full story was published April 10  in the North Carolina Folklife Institute website www.ncfolk.org and used by permission.

 By Leanne E. Smith

 “The rainy weather cooperated with us,” Karen Lovejoy joked April 4 during the First Annual Clam Chowder Cook-off in the Ocracoke Community Center

The mid-day event, that showcased four entries in the traditional category and seven for non-traditional, was a fundraiser for the Ocracoke Childcare Center, also known as the “Little School,” for which Lovejoy is a board member and of which her two children are alumni.

The idea of a clam chowder cook-off came from Ruth Toth, who owned Café Atlantic with her husband Bob before they retired in 2013.

When she heard the Childcare Center recently had to close and reorganize for a smaller budget, she felt the situation was a community crisis and started volunteering with the OCC, which fulfills childcare needs outside of the pre-K and after school programs connected with Ocracoke School.

The fundraiser organizers didn’t know if the cook-off would work. Would they have any entries? Would anyone show up?

For the rest of the story, go to the NC Folklife Institute website here:

Leanne E. Smith, a teaching assistant professor in the English Department at East Carolina University, is also active in the Folk Arts Society of Greenville and is a member of the Green Grass Cloggers.

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