by Cathy P. Ross
Feb 1, 2013
09:43 AMCulture Cat
For the fifth year running, expert soup makers from award-winning chefs to hometown rookies give a new meaning to Super Bowl Sunday. On Feb. 3 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) they’ll be preparing delectable soups for their own “Souper” Bowl, known as Chowdafest—the largest chowder and soup competition in New England. The event that began at the Unitarian Church in Westport has become so popular they’re holding it at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport this year in order to accommodate an expected 10,000 chowdaheads.
Spoons and ballots will be handed out to attendees who’ll slurp their way through 30 classic New England chowders, creative chowders and soups and bisques to vote for their favorites. Dozens of regional restaurants will participate (by invitation only), including defending champs the Mansion Clam House of Westport with its New England-style clam chowder, The Ginger Man of Norwalk with its sweet potato clam chowder and the Crab Shell of Stamford with its N.Y. Giants lobster bisque. Newbies this year will include the Bloom Brothers of Norwalk, purveyors of local clams and oysters to restaurants around the state, and the High Tide Gourmet food truck from New Haven and Madison.
Intriguing entries in past years have included Bobby Q’s cheeseburger soup, Southport Brewing Co.’s sausage, egg and cheese sandwich soup and Liquid Lunch’s New England cheesesteak chowder. It’s interesting to note that, so far, a Manhattan clam chowder has never been entered in the contest. Will this be the year?
The Sacred Heart University Marching Band will entertain from the sidelines. But best of all, proceeds will benefit the Connecticut Food Bank, which has provided thousands of meals from money raised each year. Bring the kids—their vote will count, too!
Nonperishable food donations will be collected. Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport. Admission $10; children 6-10 $5, under 5 free. For more info, visit chowdafest.org.Souper-Duper Chowda!