Cape May Chili Chowder Cook Off results with station numbers

Cape May Chili Chowder Cook-Off results with station numbers

Here is a list of Cape May Chili Chowder Cook-Off results with station numbers. I asked to have station numbers added because by the time the results are announced you can’t remember what station had the crab claw on top of its awesome roasted crab and corn chowder. Oh, wait it was table number six. They got my vote.

750 people attended the 10th annual Chili Chowder competition at the Grand Hotel. Credit Doreen Talley.

Ten years ago the Cape May Chamber of Commerce started this ambitious event at Cabanas at Beach and Decatur streets. The event quickly outgrew that location and stops at the Marquis de Lafayette and Congress Hall.

Consequently, the partnership with the Grand Hotel has made the past several years successful. Logistics and attendance seem adequately handled in the rooftop ballroom. I compared the flow around the room to the Atlantic City Beer Fest. Get your sample, stay in line and be finished by the next station. Repeat.

With the noted absence of Chris Bezaire, the lineup brought repeat victors to the event. Deli’s, caterers, hotels, and restaurants make up the competition. Participants who paid $10.00 admission vote by dropping tickets into numbered buckets exiting the event. Hopefully, Doreen tallying them is easier than the Iowa caucuses.

Below are the results by category and the overall winner, which means the top vote-getter.


The 2020 Winners!

Gaiss’ market overall vote-getter for the 10th Annual Chili Chowder competition. Pic Doreen Talley

Overall Champion: Gaiss’ Market located in the Villas. Their chili made with chorizo sausage and stewed tomatoes was a mouth and crowd-pleaser. 
table 1


1st place Chili:
Grand Hotel
table 7

2nd place Chili:
Rio Station
table 13

3rd place Chili:
Pork Island Grill
table 3

1st place Chowder:
Shore Side Catering
table 6

2nd place Chowder:
Harry’s Bar & Grille
table 15

3rd place Chowder:
American Deli
table 4

“American deli also has the most fantabulous turkey, Sammie. It’s like thanksgiving in a sandwich! A must-try,” said Jeanne Snyder of the Villas, NewJersey. “The Montreal Inn’s Harry’s Clam Chowder was the best example of a great basic soup,” Carmen DiGeronimo a retired chef from Cape May Court House added.

Credit Shoreside Facebook.

Our favorites were Shore Side Catering. Their presentation and merchandising of the table enhanced the experience. The nicely sized crab claw on top of the chowder was an impressive (and expensive) touch.

Gaiss’ chili made without peppers ( a little unusual) and chorizo sausage had a delightfully warming aftertaste. Not surprised they placed so high.

At least 750 people attended this year’s event. A portion of the $10 admission is donated towards area food banks.


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  1. Sandra Gray
    February 17, 2020 / 6:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Helps me to feel like I am involved with Cape May even though this time of year we aren’t. I would like to move to Cape May but the Mr. loves it where we are.

  2. David Greene
    February 25, 2020 / 8:28 am

    Thank you, John, for the photographs and reporting.

  3. Frank C. Farnese
    March 5, 2020 / 2:24 pm

    John: Thanks for the info & results of the Chili cook off in Cape May.
    We were unaware of this event, we shall consider give much consideration
    To attending next year.
    Thanks again for keeping all of us so well informed to happenings in Cape May !
    Best wishes,
    Frank Farnese

    • March 6, 2020 / 10:59 am

      Thanks for reading Frank. Yep this event takes place every year around Presidents day.