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.
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.
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!
3rd Place: Local Kitchen, After School Bisque
2nd Place: Cask Republic, Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
1st Place: Bistro 7, Buttery Nut Bisque
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…