Meet the 2012 Chowderfest Challenge Cook-off Contestants - The Four C'Sons
The Four C’ Sons returns this year as a winner, but the legend of the white chowder recipe dates back to a “Best Overall” win in the first Chowderfest, in 1989.
At last year’s Chowderfest, the full-service catering company won second place in the Critics’ Choice judging and second runner-up in the number of votes cast by the crowd of 12,000 tasters.
The chowder itself had also been a grand prize winner in 2000, the last time it had been entered. It is the recipe of Petti’s chef partner in business, the late Chris Cerrulo, who passed away in 2011. Cerullo founded The Four C’ Sons in 1999, but before that, his chowder had collected kudos for The Gateway and for Cerullo’s own restaurant, Family’s. Cerullo’s New England blend had also been a winner at the chowder cook-off in Boston.
This past May, Petti took The Four C’ Sons’ chowder to the business expo of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, where it was a treat for expo-goers, who came back for taste after taste.
It had been the same at last year’s Chowderfest, where a large crowd lingered by the booth throughout most of the festival. Owner Emil Petti contends that the crowd doesn’t lie. “All I’m saying is you can tell who has the best chowder just by the sheer volume of people who are willing to elbow their way to the serving table over and over again for a mouthful of chowder!” As many votes as the soup got, other tasters told him they would have voted for it, if only his business was located on the Island, he said. The story continues this year …