The team won the People’s Choice Award as the favorite Boston clam chowder in the Individual category at the Saturday, February 22 event, and won bronze for most-tasted, after serving an estimated 1,100 people their clam chowder in 2 ounce cups.
“We love doing it,” said Wayne Locke who heads up the team out of Scotts Valley.
Locke, along with Jerry Stellman of Scotts Valley, Dean Donaldson of San Leandro and Pete Koleckar of Redwood City are part of the winning team. This is their fourth year competing, and second winning a prize. The team member’s families helped to serve and decorate the booth.
A total of 68 chowder teams took part in the 33rd annual contest at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
After winning last year, the team decided to up the ante by cooking 40 gallons of their chowder, rather than the 30 gallons they cooked last year. The cost of ingredients was around $700, and the men bought bigger pots to accommodate the load.
“About half the clams we dug up ourselves,” Locke said.
The team members are all members of the Full Speed Fishing Club and have gotten to know each other out on the water.
Locke said cooking 40 gallons in two hours before the competition was challenging, but that they stuck as closely to the winning recipe from 2013 as possible.
“We had 60 pounds of potatoes and large quantities of everything else,” he said.
Locke said a line formed in front of their booth — located near the Pirate Ship on the Boardwalk — 30 minutes before tasting started, and never subsided.
“We had trouble getting people through fast enough,” he said. “We had a traffic jam at the crackers.”
Locke is known in Scotts Valley because he makes a 10-gallon batch of chowder for the Scotts Valley High School homecoming football game each year. His son, Joe, a senior, is a basketball and lacrosse player at the school.
The group plans to return next year to defend their title.
A second team from Scotts Valley, Amish Paradise, led by Marc Sacoolas won third place in the Most Original category.
For full results, visit www.beachboardwalk.com/clamchowder/