An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Jan 30, 2014
11:03 AM
The Connecticut Table

Chowdafest: Delicious Competition on Sunday to Warm Up for Super Bowl

Chowdafest: Delicious Competition on Sunday to Warm Up for Super Bowl

Getting ready to watch a big game like the Super Bowl can present a dilemma: What do you do to fill the time before the pre-game festivities start? Besides waiting and anticipating, that is.

The answer for diehard fans from New England, and Connecticut specifically, is to attend a much different type of pre-game competition, a delicious winner that’s scripted specifically to warm you up to watch the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks, and get you home in plenty of time to transition into game-watching mode.

Presented by Stop & Shop and a bunch of sponors, the 6th annual Chowdafest competition in Bridgeport has award-winning chefs and restaurants competing head-to-head, with guests getting to be the judges. “When you arrive, you get a pencil, ballot and spoon. Then slurp down 32 decadent samples of chowder, soup and bisque! It's up to you to determine who has the best!” explains the Chowdafest website.

Chowdafest is as popular as a sporting event which is why it's held at the 10,000 indoor seat Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. It’s also why the event is held annually as a pre-event to the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2014. Food and football fans alike come out to experience this culinary competition between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., then go home to family & friends to watch the big game later that evening.”

Chowdafest is a fundraiser that benefits Connecticut Food Bank. The cost to attend is $12 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 12. Tickets are on sale at the arena box office, but those planning to go can save  $2 on each adult ticket by purchasing them before the end of January at any Stop & Shop through in Fairfield and New Haven counties.

Tickets can be purchased online at the Webster Bank Arena site.

Other than enjoying great chowders, guests—encouraged to arrive in a favorite football jersey—can watch cooking demonstrations by four celebrity chefs.

“The Clarke Cooking Stage will be graced by 3 great local chefs: Chef Pietro Scotti of Da Pietro’s in Westport; Chef Plum, a regular contributor on “Better CT” on WFSB, FoxCT and the Food Network; Chef Forrest Pasternack, the executive chef at Bailey’s Backyard in Ridgefield; and Chef Hunter Zampa, an 8th grader from Stamford, who recently won the Food Network’s "Chopped Teen Talent,” says a post on the site of CTbites, a Chowdafest sponsor.

The chefs will appear on the new Clarke cooking stage and cooking demonstrations are co-hosted by and

Scroll down for a full list of Chowdafest participants, and for last year’s winners, and, meanwhile, from the Chowdafest website, “Here's a bunch of other things you may not know”:

  • 32 entries. 28 award winning and highly acclaimed chefs & restaurants, 14 are brand new to Chowdafest!
  • New cooking demonstration stage with celebrity chefs
  • Sample craft beer, wine, coffee & hot chocolate!
  • Check out our new "Sit & Slurp" section where you can bring your soup samples, sit, slurp and mark your ballots - remember, your votes determines who are the Chowda Champs!
  • Our new mascot "Chef Ref" will be making appearances throughout January (see our mascot tab) reminding people about our PRE Super Bowl event.
  • Check out our "Ciao"dafest and Cheese & Cracker Corners
  • New hours - 11 to 3.  Plenty of time to come out and then head home or out to enjoy the Super Bowl later that night.
  • We give out FREE chef hats to kids (while supplies last) that they can put stickers on, decorate and more
  • You can save $2 off the adult admission price when you purchase your tickets in advance at any New Haven or Fairfield County Stop & Shop location (through Jan. 31).
  • Your participation still helps the Connecticut Food Bank.


Chowdafest: Delicious Competition on Sunday to Warm Up for Super Bowl

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