Make us your home page
Instagram

Tony's award-winning clam chowder on Publix shelves

Want a taste of the nation's best New England clam chowder? The one that's made in Cedar Key?

Tony's Chowder, which has won the annual Knorr Great Chowder Cook-Off in Newport, R.I., three years running, is now available as a condensed canned soup in about 100 Publix markets from Sarasota to Gainesville, including most in the Tampa Bay area. Kellie Parkin, a spokeswoman for Tony's, says if you don't see it on the shelf, ask. The product is so new it might not be stocked yet.

Chef/owner Eric Jungklaus of Tony's Seafood Restaurant in Cedar Key has been working on the formula to make the condensed version taste identical to the traditionally made chowder for more than two years. Instead of adding milk, it's half-and-half and a tablespoon of butter that is mixed with the contents of the can before it's heated on the stove. The price is $3.79 for a 15-ounce can, which yields a quart of soup. There is already a 51-ounce can available for restaurant service.

Jungklaus rattled New Englanders in 2009 when he walked away with the top prize usually won by someone with an accent that sounds more like a Kennedy than a Southerner. He won again in 2010 and then 2011, when his three-peat forced him to retire from the competition. Some 15,000 festivalgoers vote for the top chowders, so it truly is a people's award.

The secret weapons in Tony's silky and chunky chowder are the volume of clams, many of them from Cedar Key, and Jungklaus' dozen years of eating New England clam chowders when he lived in the Boston area. Also, he doesn't introduce a lot of competing flavors, such as sherry and herbs, which can stand out like a boot in a crab trap.

A Florida native (Jacksonville) and a University of Central Florida graduate, Jungklaus has no culinary training. He owned a chain of retail operations and sold off some holdings, moved to Cedar Key and took over a "sad restaurant in bad shape" in 2005. His brother, Tony, helped him fix up the place at 597 Second St. and was rewarded with his name on the sign outside.

Information from Times files was used in this report. Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586.

Tony's award-winning clam chowder on Publix shelves 04/05/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 5, 2013 9:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul

    Markets

    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall

    Business

    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages

    Business

    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel

    Business

    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.