Westport, Conn – The 12th Annual New England Chowdafest is just a month away. Foodies have been waiting almost a year to judge this annual culinary competition that determines who has the best chowder, soup & bisque in New England. Tickets are now available online at www.Chowdafest.org/tickets. Tickets are also available at the gate.
“It’s the tastiest deal in town,” said Executive Director Jim Keenan. The all-you-can-eat event remains at just $20 for adults and children 6-12 are just $5. “Every year the crowd comes earlier and hungrier, anxious to sample this year’s incredible line-up of chowders," he added. Those conducting the event spend months traveling all over New England in search of the best chefs and restaurants to invite to the competition. “We only invite those we think can win the competition so whoever takes the title has truly earned it."
For the fifth straight year, the New England Chowdafest will be held at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport CT from 11AM to 3PM on its traditional first Sunday in October date (10/6/19) “Chowdafest has helped make Connecticut the chowder capital of New England because people now travel from all over the country to experience this unique event,” Keenan noted. The event even has a hotel & ticket deal to accommodate the growing interest. “We’ve become a nice feather in the state’s tourism cap."
Another record setting crowd is expected. “We’re particularly proud of the foodies who come year after year,” says Keenan. “They take their responsibility of being a judge seriously. They don’t play politics. They don’t care what state the chef or restaurant is from. Only if their chowder, soup or bisque is worthy enough to get their highest vote." People are given a ballot, pencil and of course, spoon when they enter. Unlike most food competitions, Chowdafest is not based on the quantity of votes but the quality of votes using a unique rating system. Attendees rate only what they try on a scale form 7 to 10.5. Keenan likes to say the scale goes to ten and a half “because sometimes a perfect ten is not enough."
Chowdafest takes the voting seriously, too. Like the Oscar’s, Chowdafest has it’s own official accountant, PKF O’Connor Davies, oversee the integrity of the results Thousands of ballots are scanned at the event which determines an average rating for each restaurant. The highest average rating within each category will be declared this year’s champion. There are four categories making the competition even fairer: New England clam chowder, creative chowder, soup & bisque and a vegetarian category introduced three years ago that is growing in popularity.
Chowdafest is sponsored by Cabot Creamery Co-operative, Chabaso Bakery, Chica de Gallo, City Carting, CT Bites, Copp's Island Oysters, Eight O’Clock Coffee, Even Hotels, Foods of the Vine, Hood Cream, Local Food Rocks, Lowe's, Lucy’s, Michele's Pies, Mi Nina Tortilla, MINI of Fairfield County, Natalie’s Juices, New England Dairy Council, People’s United Bank, Polar Beverages, PKF O’Connor Davies, Silly Cows Farm, Tetley Tea, Toast Point of Sale, Wades Dairy, Vazzy’s, WEBE 108 and Westminster Crackers.