New England Meeting Sites + Newport Chowder Company Create Comfort and Fun

NewEnglandMeetingSites officially returned to the meeting planning and networking business on March 16 with a delicious virtual event: Chowder and Chat.

Tim Walsh, Discover Newport’s VP of Sales, served as the affable host while Katie Potter of Newport Chowder Company provided the interactive chowder cooking lesson and riveting story.

Although it was a virtual event, Tim and Katie, who have been friends since they were teenagers, made the experience feel like a family dinner. Katie’s mother Muriel Barclay de Tolly was in attendance celebrating her 91st birthday and providing her award-winning chowder expertise. 

Tim Walsh and Katie Potter Lead

Katie’s mother Muriel owned the famous Muriel’s restaurant in Newport, Rhode from around 1985 to 1999. On a whim, Muriel entered her seafood chowder in the Newport Chowder Festival and went on to win the contest for three consecutive years. That achievement placed her in the Newport, Rhode Island Chowder Hall of Fame and her recipe now lives on with her daughter’s new company, Newport Chowder Company.

When Katie learned to cook chowder from her mother, Muriel astutely observed, “It’s all about the seasoning.” Thankfully, now we can all get a taste of authentic chowder because Newport Chowder Company sells customized seafood chowder seasoning packets and recently launched a Mobile Chowder Cart called “Muriel” which can be reserved for events.  All Chowder and Chat participants were mailed Newport Chowder Company’s special seasoning packet so they could cook along using the best of the best!

Tim Walsh kicked off the hour by introducing everyone present before he and Katie led the group of over 30 people to whip up a batch of seafood chowder. Friends since before the internet, their chemistry was excellent while they effortlessly cooked together, stealing sips of espresso martinis and doling out seven prizes to attendees. 

As the group debated a cream or dairy-free chowder base, Patti Lloyd of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce shared, “Do you know you can get good chowder at every NewEnglandMeetingSite’s location?” Patti soon had the whole group dreaming of visiting every New England State for a cup of chowder as soon as possible. Sign me up, please! 

As Muriel, the birthday girl, remarked, “I can’t believe I’m in my 90s,” the group learned even more about Muriel and her accomplished life. A celebrated artist working with watercolors, Muriel has written five children’s books and the “Behind Newport Doors” cookbook. Her proud daughter beamed, “She did it all, even when women didn’t always have the chance to do it all.”

Visit NewEnglandMeetingSites before your next visit or corporate event.

With the chowder sitting, Tim wrapped up the successful meeting with a warm thank you and a reminder to everyone to use NewEnglandMeetingSites as a resource for your next visit or corporate event in New England. “Business is coming back and will come back with a vengeance. Business will soon take on a semblance of what it used to be and everyone in New England wants to see you. Let us help,” Tim added.

David Rosenberg of Newport Events perfectly summed up what the group was thinking with, “Thank you for this. The fragrance coming out of our kitchen is terrific.” And Dana Toland of IT Exchange Group shared, “I didn’t know if I would mess with this, but it’s perfect.”

Discover New England and the diversity the region has to offer. Our historic cities, pristine coastline and charming country settings offer a multitude of meeting options. Start dreaming of your next trip by contacting our NewEnglandMeetingSites’ experts.


To learn more about, visit

To learn more about Newport Chowder Company, visit