Tag Archives: Jim Keenan

Over 30 Restaurants Compete to See Who’s ChowdaBEST @ Chowdafest 2016

14 Sep

 

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Om nom nom . . .

You know it’s officially fall when Chowdafest, the most badass and decadent chowder fest in New England, comes back to CT. This year Chowdafest continues right at Sherwood Island State Park (the second year there) on October 2 from 11-3. Tickets are a measly $15 or $5 for kids (AAA saves you 20%) . . . and we can guarantee that you’ll eat way more than that in chowders, soups, samples, and more while you’re there. Plus, a portion of proceeds benefit the food rescue work of Community Plates, as well as Friends of Sherwood Island and Kids Helping Kids Foundation. Now, let’s get down and dirty and dig into this steaming hot bowl of awesomeness that is Chowdafest 2016: Continue reading

Food for Thought Restaurant Week Hits CT + RI and Aims to Raise Major $$$

18 Jan

 

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Didn’t give enough change to The Salvation Army this past December? Step up your game and help give back with Food for Thought Restaurant Week!

A few months back we wrote a post, asking restaurants to help take part in a brand new kind of restaurant week: Food for Thought Restaurant Week. Well, look here good people, it’s just around the corner now. The premise is that you go to one of the participating restaurants in Connecticut or Rhode Island for any meal between 1/24-1/30, bring the printed donation coupon, eat out, and 10% of your bill will go to The Salvation Army! That easy, that simple to help out. Continue reading

5th Chowdafest Moves to Webster Bank Arena and Plans to Become Biggest Food Event in Northeast

10 Jan

Chowdafest Logo

The winners and our recap is in!

What started as a tiny event that featured some local restaurants’ soups and chowders with just 400 people attending, soon turned into an event at Bedford Middle School that featured many different CT restaurants and had about 5,000 people attend.  That’s some big growth, especially when you consider that the attendance for last year’s event was 40% more than Chowdafest 3.  Put in different terms, there were 600 gallons of chowder and soup served with almost 50% more money raised for the Connecticut Food Bank from the proceeds.  Believe it or not, Chowdafest 4 (2012) was so well attended that they had to turn 1,000 people away because of being over-capacity and parking limitations.

Chowda Chick from Rory's in Darien at Chowdafest IV

Chowda Chick from Rory’s in Darien at Chowdafest IV

Well, that won’t be an issue this year!  Chowdafest 5 will be held at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on February 3 (SOUP’er Bowl Sunday), the holiest day of the year for football lovers but now also for chowder lovers.  Don’t worry, though, it will be going on from 11 am to 4 pm, so there will be plenty of time to get your party ready or head back to the house/bar before the game begins.  Tickets are just $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12, and free for kids aged five or younger.  Spoons and a voting card will be provided.  Just bring your entrance fee, a healthy (or unhealthy) appetite, and some non-perishable food donations to help support the Connecticut Food Bank.  

Continue reading

Chowdafest IV 2012, Bigger and Badder than Ever! Westport, CT

6 Feb

Chowdafest IV! Look at those chowdaphiles!

We pulled up to Bedford Middle School then drove 20 miles down the road (my lesson in school today was on hyperbole) and found a nice cozy spot to park.  As we walked into the school, we knew this was huge, more ginormous than last year.  Yeah, this was gonna rock in a major way.  Donations were dropped off and tickets were purchased and we threw ourselves into line.

Rory's takes home some chowda gold this year!

Wow, what a turn out!  Jim Keenan, Chief Chowda Head, said that there were about 2,400 visitors, which is 40% more than last year.  Damn!  Even more mind boggling are the food stats:  600 gallons of chowder and soup; 29 different soups and chowders.  More awesome?  Sure, we’ll top that.  40-50% more money was raised this year for the Connecticut Food Bank.  And…mark your calendars (we just did, too) for February 2, 2013:  Chowdafest V!  Ahh humminah humminah!

29 soups are a helluva lot to write about, so we’ll give you the winners and our combined Nom ratings for our highest scoring soups.  Remember the Nom system, right people?

Classic New England Clam Chowder Winners

1) Mansion Clam House

2) Rory’s

3) O’Neill’s

Soup/Bisque Winners

Pietro Scotti of DaPietro's has some soup on!

1) Crab Shell: NY Giant Lobster Bisque

2) Southport Brewing Company: Sausage, Egg & Cheese Sandwich Soup

3) Liquid Lunch: Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Creative Chowder Winners

1) The Ginger Man: Sweet Potato Clam Chowder

2) Crab Shell: New England Patriot Crab Chowder

3) Dunvilles: Louisiana Seafood Chowder

Critic’s Choice Awards (Chefs voted on each other’s soups/chowders)

Robert Troilo dishes out his Oyster & Pork Belly Chowder

1) The Ginger Man: Sweet Potato Clam Chowder

2) Cactus Rose Cantina: Corn & Poblano Chowder

3) Tavern on Main: Classic NE Clam Chowder

OmNomCT’s Top 5 Nom Rating Average

1) Tie between The Ginger Man: Sweet Potato Clam Chowder and Crab Shell: NY Giant Lobster Bisque (4.25 Noms)

2) Crab Shell: New England Patriot Crab Chowder (4 Noms)

3) Blue Lemon: Mexican Chicken Soup (4 Noms)

4) Mansion Clam House NE Clam Chowder (4 Noms)

5) Rory’s NE Clam Chowder (4 Noms)

Special thanks to Jim Keenan for the info before, during, and after Chowdafest.  We love what you do…keep doing it and doing it more awesome each year.  See everybody at Chilifest!

Chowdafest IV 2012, Baby! It’s Gonna Be Wicked SOUPer!

18 Jan

About a year ago Kristien and I got our chowda on and OD’d on soupy goodness.  Yup, the Third Annual Chowdafest was awesome with tons of restaurants competing for the Classic New England Chowder, Creative Chowder, and Soup titles.  Last year Mansion Clam House won Classic N.E. Clam Chowder, SBC won Creative Chowder with Corn & Poblano Chowder, and Nicholas Roberts won with their Lobster Bisque.  So, who’s winning this year on 2/4/12 from 11-4 at Bedford Middle School in Westport?  You get a spoon, then you om nom nom, vote, and help decide the winners.  Yeah, you can even pretend you’re one of those judges from Chopped or Iron Chef.  We won’t tell.

Well, look at the talent pool here, first:

Ash Creek Saloon
Blue Lemon
Bobby Q’s
The Brewhouse
Cactus Rose Cantina
Crab Shell
Dunvilles
The Ginger Man
Liquid Lunch
Los Cabos
Mansion Clam House
Mystic Soup Co.
Nicholas Roberts Gourmet Bistro
Old Post Tavern
O’Neill’s
River House
Rory’s
Southport Brewing Company
Super Duper Weenie
Tavern on Main

Look at that list!  Some of Connecticut’s best restaurants competing for the fun of it but also to take home bragging rights.  Tickets are a measly $6 for adults, $5 for 65+, and a puny $2 for children and go towards helping out The CT Food Bank.  Also, bring down some nonperishable items to help boost up their food drive.  Yeah, everybody wins on “SOUPer Bowl Saturday.”  Kids will have even more fun this year, too.    Stop & Shop is sponsoring a Kids Cove where there will be stickers, temporary tattoos (why not real ones?), and a chef hat decorating station!  Also, have your kids meet the most savory “SOUPer hero,” Chef Quahog.  There’s still some time to meet him before 2/4, too.

Bonus:  stop by after 3 and you’ll be entered into a special raffle.

Some cool facts from Jim Keenan, organizer of both Chowdafest and Chilifest:

• No restaurant has won the same category back to back.  The Ginger Man almost did last year, coming in 2nd by a mere 5 votes.

• We’re in CT, yes, but no one has been daring enough to enter in a Manhattan Clam Chowder.

• There has never been more than one lobster bisque, but this year there are three on the way.

• They are poised to break attendance records!  How awesome is that?

Chowdafest is now one of the largest competitions going on in New England.

Chowdafest IV

2/4/12

11 am – 4 pm

$6 adults/$5 seniors/$2 children

Bedford Middle School

88 North Ave

Westport, CT 06880

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