Portland seafood joint gets surprise shout out on The Simpsons

On Sunday the staff and ownership at Gilbert’s Chowder House got an unexpected thrill when they were featured on the newest episode of The Simpsons.

Image from dailymotion.com.

Image from dailymotion.com.

In the episode, which aired on Fox at 8 pm, Homer Simpson is challenged to a barbecue cook-off with fictional celebrity chef “Scotty Boom,” who is most likely a spoof of real life chef Bobby Flay.

To prepare, the overwhelmed Homer watches an earlier episode of the cook-off show, which is called the “Eat-Down.” In the episode that Homer watches, Boom heads to Portland for a “Chowder Challenge.”

“This week I took on the Gilbert family of Portland, Maine,” says Boom. “They’ve been making clam chowder for generations!”

While there’s no direct mention of Gilbert’s Chowder House per se, the restaurant is owned by the Gilbert family, and they have in fact been making clam chowder in Portland for generations.

Image from the Gilbert's Chowder House Facebook page.

Image from the Gilbert’s Chowder House Facebook page.

You can watch the episode by clicking below (the Gilbert’s scene is around the 12 minute mark):

“My Uncle Ed and my father James opened up the Portland location in 1993, Ed had already created the recipe for our chowder at another restaurant, so he brought it with him,” said Jamie Gilbert on Tuesday.

Jamie and his sister Melissa help run things nowadays, and a second location was opened in Windham in 2009.

“I had no idea they were gonna do that,” said Jamie of the shout out. “It was a total surprise, all the cooks in the kitchen were so pumped.”

“It’s all everyone’s been talking about around here for the past couple of days.”

In the episode, Boom wins the Chowder Challenge with his Manhattan style chowder.

After receiving his trophy he jumps up on the table and yells, “I win! Manhattan chowder baby! NYC, greatest city, greatest chowder!” before spiking the trophy into the Gilbert’s pot of chowder and splashing the cartoon versions of Jamie and Melissa with it.

“I was a little surprised that the other guy won,” Jamie chuckled, “New England clam chowder beats Manhattan clam chowder any day.”

A bowl of chowder from Gilbert's Chowder House. Image from Yelp.com.

A bowl of chowder from Gilbert’s Chowder House. Image from Yelp.com.

“They should let me go back on the show for a rematch, but this time I’ll team up with Bart and win.”

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.