CT’s Chowdafest 2014 Winners Announced and Event Recap

2 Feb

Um…wow.  This year’s Chowdafest was really more like Chowdabest.  Over 7,500 people (when we get the actual numbers, we’ll share) came through the doors to slurp down killer soups, chowders, and bisque.  Chowda Chairman, Jim Keenan, told us this week that the presales at Stop & Shop had already topped the attendance record from last year.  And, that doesn’t include the massive amounts of people waiting to get inside of Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, either.  Christian Burns, owner of Ginger Man Norwalk and Greenwich and Cask Republic in New Haven and Stamford told us that the line to enter stretched outside for a bit.  What an amazing turnout and what a great show of force to support not only the restaurants and sponsors participating, but to also raise some vital funds and donations for The Connecticut Food Bank.  

Crowds at Chowdafest 2014!

The chef demos with Hunter Zampa, Chef Pietro Scotti, Chef Plum, and Chef Forrest Pasternack went very well, too!  We were so pleased to see how many people were watching each chef go through how to make one of their signature dishes.  First time ever at Chowdafest, but you’d never know it by how nicely it went…groundbreakers!  We were so proud and honored to be a part of the demos and so excited to be sponsors this year.  Thank you, Chefs, for coming down, giving your time, and giving back.

Kristien with Chef Forrest Pasternack at Bailey's Backyard

Chef Forrest Pasternack of Bailey’s Backyard cooking up some amazingness…

And, yes, people were eating and downing lots and lots of soups, bisque, and chowders.  Armed with spoons, voting ballets, and very empty stomachs, the crowds hit up restaurant after restaurant in search of their favorites in four categories:  Classic New England Clam Chowder, Traditional Clam Chowder, Creative Chowder, and Soup/Bisque.  Well, without further ado, here are the Chowdafest 2014 winners! 

Soup/Bisque

3rd Place:  Local Kitchen, After School Bisque

2nd Place:  Cask Republic, Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

1st Place:  Bistro 7, Buttery Nut Bisque

Bistro 7 in Wilton competed for the first time and took home a nice new helmet this year...

Bistro 7 in Wilton competed for the first time and took home a nice new helmet this year…

Creative Chowder

3rd Place: Ginger Man, Sweet Potato Clam Chowder

2nd Place: The Spread, Corn, Crab & Poblano Chowder

1st Place:  Brewhouse, Chicken & Roasted Corn Chowder

Traditional Clam Chowder

3rd Place:  Brennan’s, Rhode Island Clam Chowder

2nd Place: Liquid Lunch, Manhattan Clam Chowder

1st Place:  Dunville’s, Manhattan Clam Chowder

Classic New England Clam Chowder

3rd Place: Rory’s

2nd Place: Guvnor’s Brewery

1st Place:  Donovan’s

We’d like to thank Jim for having us as sponsors, all the restaurants that came out to have fun and compete, all the awesome sponsors to support this great event, and all the hungry fans who took time out of their day to come by and devour 32 different soups and chowders.  Considering how big this year’s event was, we can only imagine Chowdafest 2015…we just might need a second arena… 

3 Responses to “CT’s Chowdafest 2014 Winners Announced and Event Recap”

  1. LorenV February 3, 2014 at 7:17 am #

    Went this year with my eager wife. Thankfully we arrived right at the start because the crowds got WAY too large. We left at 12:30PM and the place was jammed.

    There were some really good entries so hopefully they’ll make a few changes for next year or we probably won’t attend. Limiting the attendance is one thing (or spacing the booths out more in the arena). But organizing the lines to each booth would be a huge plus. There were either lines jutting out from the booth or lines from one booth to the next. Disorganized to say the least.

    Otherwise it was a good time. And hats off to Liquid Lunch for walking among the crowd at one point with samples on a platter.

    Like

    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro February 3, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      Yeah, it was super busy. You were smart to get there early. As you were leaving we were arriving! :) We’ll pass all those ideas along…there’s always ways to make things better, you know? That’s always been the tough part about events like this for us: we love trying food and getting an amazing variety of things, but those lines.

      Anyway, glad you enjoyed the food. :) :) :)

      Like

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  1. Chowdafest VII 2014: Recap, Winners, and Our Faves at Calf Pasture Beach | OmNomCT - October 13, 2014

    […] started off at a school, that quickly grew to Webster Bank Area in Bridgeport, then grew so big this past February that they needed to expand to an even bigger venue…and that takes us Chowdafest […]

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