Dining Services' chowder-cooking team bowls over judges

UCSC students on the Food Service Adviser team clam it up with Sammy the Slug at the 2009 Clam Chowder Cook-Off.

Dining Services' Redwood Sluggers team took third place in the Best Professional Manhattan category for its Manhattan clam chowder at the recent 28th Annual Clam Chowder Cook-Off at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

"Third place is wonderful considering the number of teams competing this year," said Candy Berlin, program coordinator for UC Santa Cruz Dining Services. Though Dining Services competed in a professional category, 78 teams total entered the 2009 competition in all categories, according to Berlin.

The department had two teams competing in the event, which it's entered for five years in a row.

Dining Services will prepare the winning recipe weekly during the spring quarter, and each dining hall will take a turn featuring the award-winning chowder.

The schedule will be posted on Dining Services' website.

The award-winning team included David Steinmann (captain), Fernando Luis, Traci Takeuchi, and Andrea Soria.

UCSC's second team, the Chowder Slugs, competed in the adjoining booth with a Boston clam chowder. The Chowder Slugs included Dwight Collins (captain), Jamie Smith, Meg Flavin, and Scott Berlin.

Although the Chowder Slugs did not win an award, they were one of the few teams that made enough chowder to feed the large crowds, said Berlin.

The Boston-style chowder was made with 100 percent organic ingredients, and both recipes contained fresh clams that were harvested sustainably, said Berlin.

The UCSC teams produced about 65 gallons of chowder during the event.