|Nathan Nickerson (from left) and Susan Buckley of Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar celebrate their win with Kenny Mansbach and Ron Winner of Shepley Wood Products who took home top honors in the amateur category.
There is an adage that procrastination is the enemy of success, but that concept was flipped on its head when Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar came away with the top prize at HAC’s inaugural Cape Cod Quahog Challenge.
The popular Eastham clam shack was the last entrant, signing up less than a week before the challenge where they joined seven other area restaurants competing for bragging rights to determine who makes the best stuffed quahog on Cape Cod. Apparently, that was more than enough time for the restaurant’s chef Susan Buckley to prepare her entry – aptly named Susie’s Stuffies - which attendees voted as their favorite on the first Sunday in August.
“We have a great product, but so do the other restaurants here… It’s really not about whether you win or lose, although it doesn’t hurt to win,” said Arnold’s owner Nathan Nickerson before he talked about the underlying importance of the event. “It is wonderful the programs that HAC has that help people get into housing. They do a great job and it is a great organization.”
“It is always important to give back to the community,” added John Shea, owner of Trader Ed’s in Hyannis, which not only hosted the event, but competed in it.
The setting overlooking Hyannis Harbor on a sunny summer day was ideal for the public to sample stuffed quahogs made by some of the top chefs on Cape Cod. The event was made even more festive with live music provided by Four Guys Cape Cod and appearances by Santa Claus, Cape Cod Country’s lobster mascot, Doug the Quahog, and radio personality Ralphie Marino.
Over $10,000 was raised from ticket sales, a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and sales of T-shirts that will go to support HAC’s housing programs on Cape Cod and the Islands.
HAC’s event coordinator Deanna Bussiere conceived of the idea with HAC’s director of communications and development Julie Wake and volunteer Ron Winner of Shepley Wood Products – he entered the competition with his coworker Kenny Mansbach, winning the amateur title – earlier this year after the three had seved a meal at the NOAH Shelter. “It was a wonderful way to celebrate a regional cuisine, highlight the great restaurants and chefs on Cape Cod and use it all as a means to give back to the community,” said Bussiere.