Area Restaurants Take Home Top Chowder Honors

The people have spoken! The 33rd Annual Chowder Cook-Off with a Twist was held on Friday, February 2 in Port Canaveral’s Cruise Terminal 1, and the results are in from both the judges and attendees naming the Best Chowder and Best Twist on the Space Coast.

Seven judges—Col. Walt Jackim, Vice Commander 45th Space Wing; Port Commissioner Micah Loyd; Mindy from Lite Rock 99.3; Brice Wilkerson from Lite Rock 99.3; “Wingnut” from KISS 95; Suzy Leonard, Florida Today food writer and Space Coast food expert; and Ashley Nolan, “Survivor finalist” and Satellite Beach native—deliberated for nearly two hours while they personally taste tested each item.

The winners were:

People’s Choice Twist: First– Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, second–Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill, third–Rising Tide tap & table

People’s Choice Chowder: First–Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, second–Coconuts on the Beach, third–Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar

Judge’s Choice Twist: First–Coasters Taphouse, second– Mambo’s Beachside Bar & Grill, third—Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex

Judges Choice Chowder: First–Kennedy Space Center-New England Clam Chowder, second–Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill, third—Rising Tide tap & table

The event is hosted by the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). This year’s event was chaired by CVB Chair Amanda Tynan of the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront and past chair John Belden of Space Coast Fun Guide.

Port Canaveral Awarded $1M Grant for Security Projects

The Canaveral Port Authority has been awarded $1 million in federal funding to bolster security programs and critical infrastructure. Port Canaveral is one of 33 U.S. ports to have been awarded direct grants by FEMA for fiscal year 2017 which will be used for direct support of maritime security risk mitigation.


Port Canaveral will use the $999,101 grant award to implement multiple security projects at the port, including upgrading security hardware, deploying new technologies and cyber security enhancements. Plans include the use of technology for verifying Transportation Worker Identification Credentials to align with soon-to-be upgraded U.S. Coast Guard security regulations.


The Port Security Grant Program is a competitive grant program authorized by Congress to support maritime transportation infrastructure security. Funding is made available by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to strengthen infrastructure and support efforts to build and sustain core capabilities. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Port Security Grants have helped the nation’s seaports enhance measures to increase security and protect vital transportation hubs and maritime borders.