Sunday, May 22, 2005

Dining Downunder on Clam Chowder in Newport, RI

Dining Downunder(TM) from Australia to compete at the upcoming, 24th Annual International Schweppes Great Chowder Cook-off

NEWPORT, RI, May 22, 2005 – The 24th Annual International Schweppes Great Chowder Cook-Off announces that Dining Downunder(TM) from Sydney, Australia will be competing in the “Most Creative” category with its “Wildfire Chowder” at the upcoming event, to be held on Saturday, June 4, 2005 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Newport Yachting Center in Newport, Rhode Island.

Dining Downunder(TM) is a concept by Australian wild food devotee, television host and author, Vic Cherikoff, who travels around Australia and the world with his fellow chef, Benjamin Christie, cooking native cuisine and putting a twist into dishes inspired by the special places they visit. Cherikoff, an expert in native Australian foods, has been credited with pioneering the development of a uniquely Australian cuisine through his commercialization of a selection of indigenous species. Through his Australian spice and seasonings business, Cherikoff Rare Spices, he now provides ingredients for a long list of restaurants, caterers, airlines and a growing number of manufacturers, from mainstream to boutiques, in Australia and over 16 countries.

“We love taking local recipes from different cultures and putting an Australian spin on them by incorporating indigenous flavors to add that authentic Australian taste,” said Cherikoff of Dining Downunder. “For the Great Chowder Cook we’ll be using some of our native Australian herbs and spices in combination with some Aboriginal cooking methods. We hope adding a little Australia to a traditional New England soup will be a winning combination!”

The Great Chowder Cook-Off features all-you-can-eat “chowda” made by chefs who work at leading restaurants, businesses and institutional dining facilities across the country and around the globe. Chefs serve samples to the thousands of chowder loving judges while competing for the coveted title of “Best Clam,” “Best Seafood,” and “Most Creative” chowder, as well as “Best Clam Cake”.

“We’ve had competitors from as far away as Ireland and Bermuda over the years but an entry from Australia will definitely be the longest traveled,” said Rich Hopkins, Festival Director for the Newport Yachting Center. “Having Dining Downunder participate this year is further proof that the word is truly spreading around the world about the quality of our Great Chowder Cook-Off. I have no doubt that our festival-goers will get a taste of Australia they will never forget when they sample Vic and Benjamin’s creative chowder.”

Three stages of live entertainment, an expanded children’s area, a Silent Auction and other fund raising activities for local non-profits, a Culinary Stage showcasing creative specialties and a Marketplace with a variety of crafts and specialty items add to the festive atmosphere.

After a close competition for bragging rights and over $10,000 in prizes and awards, last year's first place chowder winners were “Best Clam” - Captain Parker’s Pub, West Yarmouth, MA; “Best Seafood” - Davenport’s Bar & Grill, East Providence, RI: and “Most Creative”- Blue Mermaid Chowder House and Bar, San Francisco, CA. The “Best Clam Cake” winner was Chelo’s Restaurants at locations throughout Rhode Island.

This year, the gates will open at 11:00 a.m. and the celebration will continue until 6:00 p.m. when the winners in each major category will be announced. Ticket prices for the International Schweppes Great Chowder Cook-Off are $10.00 for adults in advance of the show and $15 the day of the event. Children under the age of 12 are admitted for free as long as an adult accompanies them. Tickets are available through the Newport Yachting Center Box Office at (401) 846-1600. Tickets can also be ordered on the web at:

David Hughes, Dodge Associates, Inc.
(401) 273-7310

PHOTOS: Downloadable hi-res images are available online at: