It’s almost time for some wicked chowda!!! This year marks the Olde Mistick Village’s 16th annual Cabin Fever Festival which hosts the chowder cook off to donate all the proceeds to a charity. This year’s charity is Always Home which works to prevent homelessness. It will be taking place this upcoming Saturday February 23, 2019 from 12-4pm at Olde Mistick Village in Mystic, CT.
When the month of February rolls around, I get excited for my birthday and for this event! I attended my first chowder cook off event in 2012 shortly after I moved to New England region. Since then I have never missed the chowder cook off event.
The ironic part is that I didn’t like seafood, I never even tried clam chowder. I became annoyed attending so many local events that offered seafood, I felt that I was missing out. At my first chowder cook off event, I caved and decided to take the first bite of chowder! Once I took that first bite, I never looked back. Clam chowder is one of my favorite food now!
Many local restaurants will serve a 3 oz cup of their chowder at this event. Sometimes, you get to see a fun chowder recipe being tried out. I’ve seen some quite weird ingredients such as alligator, chicken & waffle, and many more! Once you sample all the chowder, you can select your favorite on the ballot provided and they will announce the winner for people’s choice. The restaurants are also competing to win one of the specified categories which includes most creative, heartiest, best use of regional ingredients and best flavor. These categories will be judged by a team of celebrity judges. The awards are given at the end of the event at the meeting house (church).
I love attending this event every year. This usually gets me out of that winter rut and I start to look forward to spring coming soon (according to groundhog Phil!). So many people of all kinds - couples, families, singles attend. It’s so much fun for everyone! There are some restaurants who are popular every year - for example, Westerly High School’s Highland Grille always have long lines! I usually try to go to the popular ones first. There’s always talk among people about where the good chowder are so it’s good to get that intel and plan your route for the day!
The chowder tickets are $1/each or $10 for a dozen tickets. You can purchase the tickets on the day of at the event at a marked location through the village. The village is an outdoor shopping mall but with 18th century New England vibe. Each of the restaurants will be in a shop so you can get to do a bit of shopping while you’re sampling the chowder or waiting in the lines. Olde Mistick Village is good about marking which shops have chowder and which have the tickets for purchase.
Looking forward to having some of the delicious chowda and hopefully meet some of you!