At the end of a chilly, snowy week, Ithaca’s Annual Chowder Cook-Off will provide Ithacans with warmth and comfort despite the cold weather. On Saturday, Dec. 7 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, over 25 local restaurants will compete to earn the title Best Chowder in the Seafood, Veggie and Meat categories.
This event was organized by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, a non-profit organization that plans several events over the year in Downtown Ithaca, according to its Facebook page.
Community members can take part in tasting the myriad of chowders for $1 per sampling ticket. Tickets for the event can be purchased in advance in person at the Downtown Ithaca Visitor Center, or at the event on Sunday.
Last year, Simeon’s American Bistro won Best Seafood Chowder, Greenstar Natural Foods Market won Best Veggie Chowder and Max’s American Grill won Best Meat Chowder.
Simeon’s American Bistro will return this year to defend their title, according to the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, but the other two winners will not be competing — leaving room for other restaurants to claim these titles.
Several popular local restaurants will compete, such as Luna Street Food, Collegetown Bagels and Pasta Vitto. Cornell’s own McCormick’s at Moakley House will also compete.
Scott Rougeau, Downtown Ithaca Alliance Special Events Director, expressed his excitement for the event in a statement to The Sun.
“The Chowder Cook-Off draws Ithacans out of their early winter hibernation to bond with their neighbors over delicious food and drinks,” Rougeau told The Sun. “This year, the Chowder Cook-Off competition will have nearly 30 local restaurants participating and their chefs are sure to create new tasty chowders that are sure to impress the crowds,” Rougeau wrote.
The event is funded in part by the Tompkins County Tourism Program, which invests Tompkins County’s hotel occupancy task in “a variety of tourism initiatives that promote economic development and enhance local quality of life,” according to their website.
Rougeau also elaborated on several other events organized by Downtown Ithaca, including the Winter Lights Festival, which is being held from Dec. 5 to Dec. 15, and the Silent Disco, which is being held on Dec. 6.