It's already April, just six months from our 10th annual Chowdafest celebration. For the past nine years, we've raised the bar each and every year and this year will be no different, we still have some tricks up our sleeve.
One of those tricks is the addition of a deliciously new competition category, Vegetarian! We've always had non-seafood and vegetarian entries but we decided to give them their own category which will excite those who love these kinds of chowders, soups and bisque. As a result, we've attracted some of the best "farm-to-fork" chefs and restaurants plus acclaimed vegetarian chefs and restaurants in the process. Who knew eating healthy would be do appetizing, right?
We've arguably assembled the best restaurant roster "evah" as 50% of the field is new to the event. It's not easy to come and compete in New England's #1 culinary competition as a rookie and go up against Chowdafest champions and crowd favorites but they got the right stuff and will make this year the closest contest yet. Get your spoons ready.
I won't divulge all the tricks just yet but suffice it to say you should be circling Oct. 1st on your calendar with a red sharpie as this year is not to be missed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to keep up with all the exciting news all summer long.
As the New England Chowdafest continues to grow in popularity, the more calls and emails we field from discernible foodies who are on the road looking to find great chowder, soup and bisque so we created The Chowda Trail! It's the latest trail in CT and among one of the state's biggest! Unlike other trails, the Chowda Trail is a living, breathing trail that changes each year to reflect the incredible restaurants entered in the Chowdafest competition each year. There are more than 40 stops on the trail and most of these trail stops are here in CT but don't let that stop you from traveling all over New England to visit those restaurants that come to CT to compete for the title best in New England. Of course, you'll find all these great soups all at one place this fall at Chowdafest but Chowdafest just gives you a taste of what these great chefs can do. You gotta go visit them to experience the rest of their decadent menu!
Some of the stops are classic shoreline clam and seafood shacks but only open seasonally so if you don't see them this summer, you'll have to wait to next year. Some stops may bring you to the middle of a city like Hartford, Portsmouth, Newport, New Haven or Stamford while other stops are off the beaten path but oh, so worth the detour. Be sure to let each place know you're a Chowdafest fan. Now, this is our first year at promoting the Chowda Trail and we'll be working to improve it by your comments and ideas. Maybe we'll eventually include a passport that can get stamped at each place or put together some kind of contest but for now, it's a listing pointing you towards restaurants and chefs that have distinguished themselves with great chowder, soup or bisque to garner a coveted invite to compete in Chowdafest 2016. Stay tuned for further developments.
Jim Keenan: Creator and Chief Chowda-head.