Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Connecticut Announces ChowdaTrail!

Announcing Connecticut's Newest Trail

Connecticut has nearly 30 trails where people can find and visit such places as the state's wineries, breweries, even antiques.  There are also food trails that feature pizza, burgers and chocolate.  Joining the state's culinary trails is the new Chowda Trail.

Unlike most trails, the Chowda Trail is a living, breathing trail that changes annually to reflect where people can find the incredible chowders, soups and bisque entered in Chowdafest, the largest culinary competition in New England held annually in Connecticut.

“Only one other state has a chowder trail...” said Jim Keenan, the Chowda Trail creator.  “...and it's Oregon.  New England is renown for its chowder so it was only natural to create a unique chowder trail here in the northeast.”

Keenan worked with the Connecticut State Department of Tourism to help launch the trail on their recently redesigned website.  “The state did a remarkable job revitalizing their CT website and making it so inviting.  It's visually enticing, loaded with great attractions, events and things to do for residents and non-residents alike.  We're thrilled to be their latest trail as 32 of the 40 stops are right here in CT”.

The Chowda Trail creation coincides with the peak summer travel season where people are vacationing, especially driving the coast of New England.  “People email and call us all the time seeking chowder recommendations” Keenan said.  “New England clam chowder and lobster bisque are the most popular requests but discernible foodies also look for something different like a spicy Bermuda conch chowder or a non-seafood  chowder like a chicken and poblano chowder.  Having the Chowda Trail online where they can look it up and try some of these great restaurants made a lot of sense.”

The Chowda Trail is supported by AAA and Yankee Magazine and can be found online at:   The site also includes information on the New England Chowdafest presented by Stop & Shop as well as a “Stay & Chow(da)” hotel and ticket promotion.

Photo Source CT State Department of Tourism

The 9th Annual Chowdafest competition will be held on Sunday October 2, 2016 at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport CT and will once again showcase 40 restaurants representing every New England state, 8 states in total.  Attendees receive a spoon, ballot and pencil when they arrive.  They enjoy unlimited sampling and rate each entry on a scale from 7 to 10.5 with half point intervals.  Restaurants with the highest over all average in their respective categories will be declared best in New England.

Chowdafest features four categories of competition with ten restaurants competing in each:

  1. Classic New England Clam Chowder (cream/milk based)
  2. Traditional Chowder exclusively for Rhode Island (clear broth) and 
  3. Manhattan Clam Chowders (red, tomato based), 
  4. Creative Chowders and Soup & Bisques

Chowdafest raised enough to fund over 400,000 meals for the ongoing fight against hunger last year and is shooting to provide for over a half million meals this fall.  Chowdafest is also a zero waste event and a national model for event sustainability.  

For additional information about Chowdafest, please visit or email event director, Jim Keenan at

Chowdafest, presented by Stop & Shop, is sponsored by: AAA Northeast, Aquafina, BlumShapiro, Cabot Creamery, Chabaso Bakery, City Carting, Clover, CT Bites, Dannon, The Farmer's Cow, Frontera Foods, HamletHub,  Jersey Italian Gravy, Kids Helping Kids, Local Food Rocks, MINI of Fairfield County, New Milford Farms, Ocean Spray, Omnom, Schweppes, Sustainable America, Visa, WEBE 108, Webster Bank, Westminster Bakery, Wholly Guacamole, World Centric and Yankee Magazine.

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