2nd Annual Chowder Festival – January 22


There are really only a handful of weeks each year in Central Florida when the temperature dips low enough on the thermometer to warrant some chowder. But when it does, there’s nothing like this hearty meal in a mug to take the chill out of your bones.

On Wednesday, January 22 all things chowder will be celebrated at the 2nd Annual Chowder Festival, when area chefs and caterers will compete once again for the Chowder Cup.

Held at the Winter Park Farmer’s Market from 6pm – 9:30pm, the event showcases more than 20 local restaurants and caterers as well as its official beer sponsors: Florida Distributing Company & Orlando Brewing Company.

Competitors include  Winter Park Fish Co., Hamilton’s Kitchen, Maxine’s on Shine and Avenue Gastrobar. Kendra Lott of Edible Orlando will be one of the judges deciding who wins this year’s coveted trophy.

Tickets, which are $25 per ticket until January 21st and $30 per ticket as of January 22nd, include unlimited food samplings as well as 4-5 oz drink pours of beer and wine. Purchase online here. 

Proceeds from this event will be benefiting Heart to Heart of Central Florida.

Can’t wait until next week to satisfy your chowder fix? Give this delicious recipe a try, created by chowder aficionado Chef Henry Salgado of Spanish River Grill Bistro Latino.

Conch Chowder
by Chef Henry Salgado of Spanish River Grill Bistro Latino, New Smyrna Beach

1 green pepper, diced
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
a pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1lb Conch meat, medium diced in a food processor
1 1/3 cup tomato paste
1 1/3 cup sherry
2 small jars clam juice
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup diced tomato
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cholula hot sauce
2 cups potatoes medium diced

1. Bring a pot to medium heat with olive oil and saute green peppers, onions garlic, cumin, coriander, thyme, bay leaf & red pepper flakes until onion is translucent.
2. Add conch meat, tomato paste, sherry, clam juice, water, diced tomato, potatoes, salt, pepper & cholula.
3. Simmer approximately 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
4. Serve with sliced Cuban bread.