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Chow down at Chowderfest

Kane has competed in Culinary Cornucopia in Albany where chefs are challenged to create an entrEe in 40 minutes that is judged by master chefs from around the country. He said cooking at Chowderfest will give Classe Catering exposure and hopefully help solidify a presence in the Saratoga area. It recently established an exclusive venue at 11 North Pearl in Albany.

Kane's chowder can be tasted for $1 at 38 High Rock Condominiums. All these particular proceeds will go to benefit renovations and upkeep at Universal Preservation Hall, one of the area's most historic buildings.

Chowderfest started out as a small part of the weekend-long Saratoga Winterfest, but quickly became somewhat of the main attraction, said Connie Crudo, membership and services coordinator of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau. It now allows more than 50 restaurants to offer chowder tastings from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"Chowderfest is an affordable, fun thing to do on a cold day. We have top-notch restaurants competing, it's kid friendly, dog friendly and the city comes alive with all the energy from the Chowder lovers. When Chowderfest ends, people tend to linger and eat, drink and shop. We've seen an increase in people staying overnight and enjoying Saratoga," said Crudo.

This year's fest will offers a "Doggie Chowdown" where a canine judge picks his favorite doggie chowder. Last year, Mayor Scott Johnson's dog Dr. Watson did the honors and this year a St. Bernard from the Saratoga County Animal Shelter will step up.

With so many venues there's sure to be a chowder for every palate. Past favorites have included vegetarian chowder, seafood chowder, gluten-free chowder, southwestern chowder, corn chowder and dessert chowder.

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