CHOWDAFEST GETS “SOUPer” SIZED TO HARBOR YARD FOR EXPECTED RECORD ATTENDANCE

Westport, CT - January 10, 2013 – In four short years Chowdafest, a premier Connecticut chowder and soup competition, has grown so popular that it will be relocated to the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport on Sunday, February 3, 2013, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event started with approximately 400 first year attendees and grew to over 5,000 chowdaheads in 2012. This year, upwards of 10,000 people are expected to participate.

“We’re thrilled to host Chowdafest, having watched this event grow to the point it’s gotten big enough to hold it here at the arena,” ” said Howard Saffan, President of Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment. “The Yard has never hosted a culinary event before but we know foodies are a passionate group. We are excited to welcome them and to play a role in the continued success of Chowdafest.”

Created and organized by members of The Unitarian Church in Westport, the annual fundraiser benefits The CT Food Bank.  “People tend to forget the hungry after the holidays,” said Jennifer Thomas, events & promotion coordinator, CT Food Bank. “Chowdafest is a wonderful and important event that makes a significant contribution to us.”

Over 30 different chowders & soups will be featured in this competition where both children and adults get to be judges and vote for their favorite Classic New England Clam Chowder, Creative Chowder (anything other than New England) and Soup/Bisque. The restaurant roster currently includes: Blue Lemon (Westport), Bobette’s (Milford), The Brewhouse (Norwalk), Bobby Q’s (Westport), Close Harbour Seafood (Plantsville), Crab Shell (Stamford), Donovan’s (Norwalk), Dunville’s (Westport), Ginger Man (Norwalk), The Goose (Darien), Liquid Lunch (Shelton / Milford), Mansion Clam House (Westport), Nicholas Roberts Gourmet Bistro (Norwalk), Norm Bloom & Sons (Norwalk), Old Post Tavern (Fairfield), On the Rocks (E. Haddam), O’Neill’s (Norwalk), Restaurant at Rowayton (Rowayton), Rory’s (Darien), Soup Thyme (Monroe), Southport Brewing Co. (Stamford/Fairfield), Super Duper Weenie Dog (Fairfield), Swanson’s Seafood (Fairfield), Tavern on Main (Westport) and Valencia Luncheria (Norwalk).

“The success of Chowdafest is based on a number of factors: truly great restaurants who love to come and compete; dedicated chowdaheads with strong opinions and taste buds and a mission to feed hungry people in Connecticut,” said Jim Keenan, event chairman.

Adults pay just $10 and kids 6-12 are $5 and ages five and under are free. Everyone gets a spoon, pencil and ballot, samples each soup and chowder and judges on a scale from 6 (low) to 10 (high) with an optional half point bonus. The restaurant receiving the highest rating will be declared the winner in each category.

Chowdafest is presented by Stop & Shop. Supporting sponsors include Fiat of Fairfield County, The Farmer’s Cow, Hearst Publications, Star 99.9 and World Centric. Given the event’s Super Bowl date and “souper” bowl theme, restaurants and fans alike come dressed in their favorite football jerseys, eye black and more. The SHU marching band will once again entertain the crowd with football anthems in the arena. SHU student volunteers will also again be assisting in the event.

For additional information about Chowdafest, please visit www.chowdafest.org.