TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The tenth annual Chowder Fest kicked off Sunday in Troy, and thousands lined up to get a bite of the action.
Organizers say the event is about much more than just the food.
“Here at Bootleggers in Troy, it isn’t just about stirring up a delicious pot of chowder,” said owner of Bootlegger’s Bar and Grill, Nate Rock. “It’s also about stirring up a good time for the community.”
Just ask owner Nate Rock himself.
“I mean, it’s a really great boost for everybody in downtown Troy,” said Rock. “There are people that come from all over the Capital Region to Troy just specifically for this event.”
Or, ask his head chef, the fittingly named, Troy Barrington.
“To enjoy food and see that there’s a lot of good things going on, it’s not always about the drama and negativity,” Barrington said. “It’s about people coming together, lot of times from different places, and having a good time.”
On Sunday, Barrington is making chowder that is guaranteed to make your mouth water.
“We’ve been working on this chowder for a couple of days now,” Rock said. “Actually sixty gallons of bourbon chicken corn chowder.”
He’s just one of many in Troy, putting their own spin on the classic meal. Restaurants everywhere are serving up the best they have to offer, inviting neighbors to come taste it for themselves.
Organizer Katie Hammon says that’s exactly the point.
“Getting people to move around as much as possible and get them to see all of downtown Troy,” Hammon, Executive Director of Downtown Troy Business Improvement District, said. “This is a very walk-able city so that’s the whole point of this event, to get people out and walking to all of the different areas in downtown.”
The extra food and lines of people waiting to taste it, is good for places like Bootleggers.
“Troy is a unique market here, specifically, it’s a really tight-knit group,” Rock said. “Everybody supports everybody as small business owners.”
In the end, nothing beats that perfect bowl of chowder.
“I just love the instant gratification you get when you serve people your food and you see the smile on their face when they take a bite out of it,” Barrington added. “It just makes you feel good automatically.”
Ultimately, all the ingredients add up to thousands of people in Troy enjoying bowls of chowder and having a great time.