Katie Malpus and Dalia Terleckyte from Daly's Seafood at the National Chowder cook off on the grounds of Actons Hotel Kinsale. Pic: Gerard McCarthy

FOLLOWING the great success of last year’s inaugural National Chowder Cook-Off; Kinsale hoists the second annual event this year on Sunday, May 27th in a bid to find Ireland’s top chowder chef.

The National Chowder Cook-Off will see 32 top professional restaurant chefs, or those producing popular commercial chowders, representing each county in the country, compete for the coveted title of National Chowder Champion, in the grounds of Acton’s Hotel, Kinsale from 2pm to 4pm.

A fun afternoon of tastings and entertainment for all the family is promised with appearances from top celebrity chefs including Martin Shanahan, Paul Flynn and Georgina Campbell Chef of the Year, Danny Miller.

Members of the public are the judges in this highly anticipated contest, and for just €10 entry fee, they will receive a voting card which allows them to sample all chowders from the individual stalls and cast their vote to crown Ireland’s chowder champion 2012.

The winning chef will not only be crowned National Chowder Champion, but will also receive a customised trophy and an all-inclusive package stay in Kinsale for the renowned Kinsale Gourmet Food Festival 2012 including tickets to all events, meals, plus accommodation for two people for two nights during the festival.

The October event, now in its 36th year, is one of the most highly regarded and popular festivals on the Irish gourmet events calendar.

Hal McElroy, Chairman of Kinsale Chamber of Tourism, the organisers of the event said, “Being renowned as Ireland’s seafood capital, Kinsale offers the perfect platform to showcase the wealth of talent that exits amongst Ireland’s chefs when it comes to chowder recipes. Last year’s Cook-Off was a massive success with queues forming up to an hour before the event kicked off; and we saw tourists from Europe, America and beyond come in their droves as well as locals and visitors from all over the country; so we’re hoping to build on that success and make this year’s event even bigger and better.”

Tickets for the National Chowder Cook-Off are €10 each (includes samples of all chowders) and are available at the door.