Michael's prepares to defend international title, hit stores
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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- A Carolina Beach restaurant's seafood chowder is not only recognized locally, but internationally. Now Michael's Seafood Restaurant is looking for win number two and looking forward to expanding its reach.

Michael's seafood chowder won the Great Chowder Cook-off in Rhode Island last year. The win over chowders from Alaska, Seattle, Aruba and Ireland helped put Carolina Beach seafood on the map.

"Oh, it was awesome," Michael's Seafood owner and head chef Michael McGowan said. "It was a great time. To have people chanting for you; you have like 30,000 people at this event. When you have people cheering for you that you've never met in your life and they're rooting and chanting for you it becomes a big thing."

Michael's is ready for another big thing. The chowder from the small family restaurant will soon appear on Harris Teeter shelves.

"After many, many trips to Charlotte and multiple, multiple pitches to them, we finally got on the same board," Michael's Seafood CEO Kurt Vanscoy said. "About 10 months later, here we are."

197 stores from Washington, DC, to Georgia will carry the international award-winning chowder. Of course everyone wants to know their secret.

"you know, it's consistency for us," McGowan said. "We don't change anything from here to the event. Whatever's at the event is what we have here every day."

Michael's Seafood will pack up and hit the road next week for Newport, RI, where they will try to claim their second international title. The 29th annual Great Chowder Cook-off is June 6.

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