Trudy serves up the perfect chowder dish

Trudy Brolly from Ocho Tapas in Portrush proudly displays her certificate after winning the Ulster Chowder Championship held during Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival in Ballycastle
Trudy Brolly from Ocho Tapas in Portrush proudly displays her certificate after winning the Ulster Chowder Championship held during Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival in Ballycastle

If you thought there was only one way to make a chowder then you need to think again - or else pay a visit to the Ulster Chowder Championship held annually in Ballycastle during Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival and let champion chef Trudy Brolly show you how it’s done!

This year’s competition took place on Bank Holiday Monday in May with ten chefs from across the Causeway Coast and Glens vying for the title of champion chowder maker.

While the base ingredients may have been similar, each entrant had their own unique approach which left the judges with the difficult task of choosing the best.

Trudy Brolly from Ocho Tapas in Portrush was declared the winner by host Wendy Gallagher.

Trudy wowed with ‘a dish that had everything’ according to celebrity chef Paula McIntyre. Alongside her fellow judges including food critic Joris Minne, Eimear Mullin from Thyme & Co in Ballycastle and Festival Steering Group member Peter Molloy they were tasked with a blind taste testing challenge to select their favourite

Trudy said: “I used Portrush lobster and crab, roasted off my fish bones, and reduced it down to make it really intense and get the depth of flavour which I was looking for. I took part last year and after listening to the judge’s feedback I knew I needed to make a strong stock in order to stand out and I am delighted to have won!”

Tartine Bushmills took second and third place with Gary Stewart and Stephen Lampard. Trudy will now compete in the All-Ireland contest which takes place next year in Kinsale, County Cork.