For almost 30 years, Boston has hosted a celebration of New England's most famous dish: clam chowder. The event takes place over July 4 weekend as a part of Boston HarborFest, and always sees a big turnout of enthusiasts and top-flight chowder-makers alike.
This year, Chicago's borrowing the tradition, as the Columbia Yacht Club hosts the first-ever "Chowdah Fest" next Monday night.
The name (which just makes us think of that SNL sketch) is probably meant to poke fun at Northeasterners, but the line-up of chefs is straight Chicago. Daniel Marquis of Fox & Obel, Baasim Zafar from the Drake, Guy Meikle of Nana Organic and many others will be competing for the title of Best Chowder, as well as an Audience Choice Award.
At $75, tickets may seem a little steep. But considering that they include the best chowder the city has to offer, plus craft beer from Goose Island and Great Lakes, good wine and a dessert room (the contents of which remain a secret), that starts to look awfully reasonable. And proceeds go to benefit the Sea Scouts youth sailing-program.
What: Chowdah Fest Chicago
When: Monday, January 31, 6:30 - 9 p.m.
Where: Columbia Yacht Club
111 N Lake Shore Dr., Chicago
Price: $75; buy tickets here
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