|Last year’s winners of the Cape Cod Quahog Challenge, Susan Buckley and Nathan Nickerson of Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar, will be returning to defend their title.
On Route 6 in Eastham, there’s a large poster of chef Susan Buckley proudly holding a gold trophy with a quahog on top with the words, “2015 Winner of Best Stuffed Clam on Cape Cod” emblazoned on it.
That image, which hangs in front of Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar, was taken shortly after Buckley won last year’s inaugural Cape Cod Quahog Challenge at Trader Ed’s in Hyannis.
Organized by HAC, the summer event is a way to highlight a regional culinary favorite all while going to support the nonprofit’s housing programs on Cape Cod and the islands. Featuring some of the top local restaurants and chefs, the challenge seeks to find the best stuffed quahog on all of Cape Cod.
Last year, that honor went to Buckley who was joined at the event by Arnold’s owner Nathan Nickerson. As the reigning champs, the pair will be back to defend their title.
As for their chances of repeating, Buckley was confident. “I’m very proud of these,” she said of the restaurant’s stuffed quahogs. “It took a long time to perfect them.”
List of Competitors Growing
Returning to the challenge is Trader Ed’s and Spanky’s Clam Shack in Hyannis. Joining them are newcomers Wicked n’ Wood, a catering business owned by Falmouth’s Dan Sawyer, and Buddha Belly Kitchen, a food truck owned by Chadchai Lohr.
When asked what makes a great quahog, Sawyer answered simply, “it starts with a good, clean, fresh quahog.” His recipe features Portuguese bread and mixes in a signature butter that includes either honey garlic, toasted coconut or sweet chili lime.
Stuffed quahogs, he said are “a Cape Cod tradition” and he was eager to submit his entry into this year’s competition.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Billy Moore, owner of Spanky’s Clam Shack. Like the other competitors, he expressed confidence in winning, but stressed the most important aspect of the challenge is that it benefits HAC.
“The thing I liked most was the sense of joy in knowing that you are helping out the less fortunate through Housing Assistance Corporation,” Buckley said in agreement.
Are You Up for the Challenge?
If you’re a chef or restaurant owner and you want to compete in the Cape Cod Quahog Challenge on Sunday, August 7, from 1 to 4 pm, at Trader Ed’s, contact HAC’s Deanna Bussiere at 508-771-5400, ext. 270 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to learn more about the quahog challenge.