The 10th anniversary for Chowdafest is taking place at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport on Oct. 1 from 11 am – 3 pm and it’s expected to set several records. This year’s event will feature the best restaurant line-up they have had to date, showcasing past and defending champions plus half the field is new to the event. If the weather is as terrific as in years past, they are expecting a record crowd which hopefully means a record donation too.
Chowdafest is a true people’s choice event where the public determines the best chowder, soup and bisque in New England. Everyone is a judge. This event wants to give everybody a spoon, ballot and pencil when they enter and off they go to enjoy unlimited sampling from 40 restaurants from Manhattan to Maine and as far away as Seattle.
Attendees use a ballot flashing back to the 70’s where you would fill in bubbles like on a test. Foodies are asked to rate everything they try on a scale from 7 to 10.5 in half point intervals. The ballots are then scanned throughout the event so the winners are determined and announced shortly upon the conclusion of the event. The restaurants by category who have the highest rating are declared champions.
The real winner of course is the charity tied to Chowdafest which is Food Rescue US. “Event organizers hope to fund over a half million meals in the ongoing fight against food insecurity. Surprisingly food isn’t the problem facing hunger. We have plenty of food but it’s poorly distributed. Food Rescue US does a great job identifying excess food and redistributes it to shelters and groups who need it. Fighting food insecurity is synergistic to promoting the participating restaurants and sponsors.
Tickets are now available online at www.chowdafest.org/tickets. Tickets includes sampling in all specialty sections. There is an Italian section called “Ciao-dafest” where you can sample freshly baked artisan breads, dipped in premium pasta sauce plus salad mixes and an Italian themed chowder entered by Mario Batali’s Tarry Lodge restaurant. In the “ChowdaMex” section people can sample premium salsas, guacamole and a chicken tortilla soup entered in the competition.
There’s also a “sweet treats” section where you can sample farm fresh milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, even candy. You can sample juices, sparkling beverages and more in the beverage bog plus coffees and teas!
Rounding out the pallet is the sample booth for The Great Mac and Chili Challenge, the sister event to Chowdafest that takes place on 11/5, also at Sherwood Island. You’ll get a taste of great mac n’ cheese and chili. This event has something for all tastes.
Tickets are $20 adults, $5 kids (6-12) and parking is FREE. You can save $5 on every adult ticket if you’re a AAA member.