The DiPietro family, owners of Stefano's Seafood and Pasta, have returned to Long Beach Island from Newport, R.I., with a second-place win for their New England chowder.
Stephen DiPietro prepared 150 gallons of white clam chowder last week and traveled to Newport to compete in the 30th annual Knorr Great Chowder Cook-Off.
DiPietro's two restaurants have clinched the first-place title in the Long Beach Island Chowderfest for the past three years. He said he competed against 13 other restaurants Saturday in the Newport cookoff.
"We took second place. We should've won, but that's the way it goes," he said. "The same people who won the last two years won Saturday. I really wanted to knock them out and I was so mad we didn't. But they did a hell of a job of marketing."
The annual LBI Chowderfest was modeled after the Newport cookoff more than 20 years ago, said Rick Reynolds, director of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.
"Saturday, it was about the same size event as Chowderfest. There were about 20,000 people. It was right on the water, the weather was perfect," DiPietro said.
DiPietro said he will compete in the cookoff again next year and may return in the fall to find property for a chowder stand in Newport.
"I'd love to go back and have a chowder stand there. The people were awesome and very nice and accommodating," he said.
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