NEWPORT, RI, May 25, 2016 – Newport Waterfront Events’ 35th Annual Great Chowder Cook-Off, the original and longest running chowder championships in the country taking place on Saturday, June 18th from noon to 6:00 p.m. on the North Lawn of Fort Adams State Park, will feature five Newport businesses whose recipes will be among 22 competing for chowder glory.

TR McGrath

McGrath Clambakes & Catering, led by Chef and Owner TR McGrath, will be representing the locals in the “Clam” category while The Wharf Pub and Chef Scott Kirmil along with The Boat Yard Bar & Grill led by Executive Chef Brent Clark and the MainSail at the Newport Marriott and its long-time Chef Eric Steinhauer will be looking to keep the “Seafood” category title in the home city of Newport.

After its third win in the “Seafood” category last year and its subsequent induction into the Great Chowder Cook-Off Hall of Fame, The Mooring Seafood Kitchen and Bar and its Executive Chef Brian Pawlak will be competing in the newly formed “Best of the Best” category against other HOF members.

“All the categories are wide open this year for the participating restaurants from Newport to get things cooking and ensure that the coveted titles stay right here at home,” said Mike Martin, Festival Director for Newport Waterfront Events, a division of Waterfront Productions.  Martin added that chef Kirmil and his team from The Wharf Pub will be competing in the Cook-Off for the first time with their special seafood chowder and bacon recipe and that McGrath Clambakes & Catering, who will be the lone Newport business competing in the “Clam” category, and will feature a time-tested recipe that was first created by Chef McGrath’s grandfather.

Chef Eric Steinhauer

The legendary Great Chowder Cook-Off features all-you-can-eat “chowda” from renowned chefs who serve sumptuous samples to the thousands of festival attendees who also act as judges.  Chefs compete for the coveted titles of “Best Clam”, “Best Seafood” and “Best of the Best” chowder with prize money being awarded to the top three winners in each category, including $2,000 each for the first-place winners. Registration for this year’s Cook-Off is closed but for competitors who want to register for 2017, they should contact Newport Waterfront Events at

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to