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  • Writer's pictureChef Bob Aungst

Lobster & Shrimp Holiday Chowder

Updated: Sep 11

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Seafood Chowder

A good seafood chowder just makes the holidays feel more "holiday-like", especially in Florida where we will never have a blanket of fresh white snow to make it feel like Christmas! This year, we opted for a gluten free, dairy free lobster and shrimp chowder that was perfect for Christmas Day. It would make for a fabulous New Year's Eve or New Year's Day meal as well.

Seafood Chowder, Gluten Free & Dairy Free
Seafood Chowder, Gluten Free and Dairy Free

Thoughts on New England Chowders:

I loved growing up in the Northeast. The beautiful changing seasons, the picturesque mountains and pristine beaches. My fondest memories, however, seem to center around food. The seasons provided an abundance of local produce, fruits, cheeses and meats. I was constantly in search of the perfect "everything." The perfect apple pie accompanied by fresh cider donuts on a crisp Fall afternoon after raking leaves. The perfect chicken pot pie to enjoy the first snowfall at a quaint Vermont inn. The perfect strawberry shortcake while watching the boats on Saratoga Lake. And, one of my all time favorites... New England Chowders.

I was blessed to spend 4 months in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, from July through October during 2013. By most accounts the very best 4 months to spend in New England. During my stay there I embarked upon a search for the ultimate New England chowder. I'm pleased to say I found many great versions of this iconic, often taken for granted, recipe but I also found countless disappointments. I sampled no fewer than 100 versions of this seemingly simple, yet very complex, recipe from Boston to Provincetown, Martha's Vineyard to Nantucket and every restaurant and shanty I could find in between. In the end, the winning recipe came from a restaurant within walking distance of the house on the beach where I was staying in Onset. Further proof that the chowder isn't always better on the other side!

Chowder for Christmas

One specific Christmas, Kristin and I chose a quiet, peaceful way to spend the holiday together, and when she suggested a seafood chowder for Christmas dinner, I knew it was a great choice. I paired the meal with gluten free cheddar biscuits, similar to the ones Red Lobster serves, and it was a match made in chowder heaven!

This recipe is not the exact recipe I found in Onset, rather an adaptation of it to keep it gluten and dairy free. We try to maintain a whole food diet, eating few to no grains, no gluten, and as minimal of dairy as possible. Eliminating dairy in a chowder can be tricky because whole milk cream gives such a richness to the soup. I was pleased, however, with the flavor, consistency, and richness of this chowder, sans dairy. I was also glad the coconut flavor did not come noticeably come through.

Please let me know if you have any questions! Send me an email.


About Chef Bob Aungst

With over 30 years in the hospitality industry, Chef Bob Aungst has masterfully navigated some of the most prestigious stages in the culinary world. From orchestrating events like the Kentucky Derby and Presidential Inaugurations to serving esteemed dignitaries, including four U.S. Presidents and members of the Royal Courts, he and his team focus on creating unique and memorable dining experiences with extreme attention to detail for every guest served. From in person events to virtual culinary live streams, CB handcrafts each one for a truly “WOW” experience.

For the coffee lovers, check out >> ask me how you can secure your own branded line of premium coffee for sales enablement, gifting, or marketing promotions!

In addition, Chef Bob also offers temporary and seasonal culinary and chef staffing services through the League of Extraordinary Chefs. His roster of highly-skilled chefs and front of house hospitality professionals service top resorts, dude ranches, vacation destinations, hotels, convention centers, and large scale sporting events around the world.

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