Chowdafest will be held pre-Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2014 from 11AM – 3PM at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.  If you like “chowda”, then you’ll want to be there!


Chowdafest is the premier culinary competition in CT and second largest such event in all of New England.  It’s an annual fundraiser benefiting Connecticut Food Bank where attendees sample 32 decadent chowders, soups and bisque from 28 restaurants, then rate each soup which determines the winners.

Admission is just $12 adults and $5 for kids 6-12.

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There will be 4 celebrity chefs who will be giving cooking demonstrations during the event this year.  Chef Hunter Zampa of Food Network’s Chopped Teen Talent, Chef Pietro Scotti of Da Pietro’s in Westport, Chef Plum of “Better CT” on WFSB, FoxCT and the Food Network, and finally, Chef Forrest Pasternack of Bailey’s Backyard in Ridgefield.

Many of Connecticut Magazine’s 2014 Reader’s Choice Award Winning Restaurants will be putting their talent and reputation on the line at this year’s Chowdafest competition on Feb. 2.  Among them is Bernard’s of Ridgefield, voted best overall restaurant in the state.  The magazine surveyed their readers in 35 categories and Bernard’s ranked best in four categories: overall excellence, French restaurant, bistro and brunch.  They were also ranked as the second most romantic restaurant and for having the second best wine selection.

Other magazine award winners include The Spread in Norwalk recognized as the best new restaurant and appetizers in the state.  They also came in second for overall excellence and cocktails, plus, ranked as third best brunch. The Spread will be showcasing their culinary talent in the creative chowder category at the competition.

Chowdafest will also feature Fairfield’s Mecha Noodle Bar voted as best Asian restaurant and second best “hidden gem”.  “Mecha Noodle Bar adds a dynamic new element to Chowdafest.  There’s a void in great Asian cuisine and we are excited to see them in the competition” said Stephanie Webster, food blog founder and editor in chief.

Also spicing up this year’s Chowdafest competition is Tikkaway Grill in New Haven, which was recognized as the third best Indian restaurant in Connecticut and will be competing in the soup & bisque category.  Super Duper Weenie of Fairfield won second place for best road food and will be entered in the new traditional category exclusively for Manhattan and Rhode Island chowders.  The Wood ‘n Tap restaurant from Orange, who is competing in the traditional New England clam chowder category was recognized as the third best family dining experience.

Of course, these restaurants will be up against steep competition as this year’s Chowdafest competition features a total of 32 entries from 29 restaurants including: Bistro 7 (Wilton), Brennan’s Tap Room (Norwalk), Brewhouse (Norwalk), Cask Republic (New Haven, Stamford), Close Harbour Seafood (Planstville), Donovan’s (Norwalk – defending New England clam chowder champion), Guvnor’s Brewery (Norwalk), High Tide Gourmet (Madison), Indigo by the Water (Milford), Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale (New Haven), Liquid Lunch (Shelton, Milford), Mansion Clam House (Westport, 2x champion), Old Post Tavern (Fairfield), Parallel Post (Trumbull), Post 154 (Westport), Rory’s (Darien), Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood (Rowayton), Southport Brewing Company (Southport, Stamford, Brandford, Milford – 2x champion) and Taven on Main (Westport).

Clarke Cooking Stage Schedule:

11:30 Teen Chef Hunter Zampa presented by Frontier Soups and Westminster Crackers.

12:30 Chef Pietro Scotti presented by Victoria Foods, FIAT of Fairfield County and E.& J. Gallo Wines

1:30 Chef Forest Pasternack presented by The Farmer’s Cow and Chabaso Artisan Bakery

2:30 Chef Plum presented by Cracker Barrel Cheese and Sierra Nevada Beer

3:00  Hall of Fame Induction

3:15  Award ceremony presented by Stop & Shop

This zero waste event is presented by Stop & Shop and sponsored by The Farmer’s Cow, FIAT of Fairfield County, World Centric, Cracker Barrel, Sierra Nevada Brewery, E. & J. Gallo Wines, Chabaso Artisan Bakery, Frontier Soup, Victoria Fine Foods, Westminster Crackers, Star 99.9, CT,,, Star 99.9, Sustainable America and Clarke, New England’s Official Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom & Kitchen.