Assisted living facility cleans up at New Bedford Chowder Festival
The Cottages at Dartmouth Village may not be a restaurant.
But that hasn’t stopped the assisted living and care services provider from entering the annual New Bedford Seaport Chowder Festival, an event the Cottages has been attending for the past nine years.
At this year’s chowder festival on Sunday, October 13, they took home three First Place prizes: one judges’ choice in the signature soup category for their kale soup, and first place in people’s choice for both their stuffed quahogs and their table presentation.
“I’m so proud of this team,” said Jodi Joubert, Area Operations Manager at the Cottages. “We do really well every year, and this was just a fantastic year.”
“It’s something that we’ve enjoyed doing, it’s a lot of fun,” said the Cottages Program Supervisor Claudia Parascandolo. “We really get into it.”
“Our department heads all get involved, and we usually have a theme, and we try to dress up,” she said.
The 14th annual festival saw 20 restaurants from all over the South Coast competing in blind taste tests with both a panel of judges and members of the public deciding on the best clam and seafood chowders as well as signature soups and stuffed quahogs.
A panel of judges awarded the Cottages at Dartmouth Village third place for their clam chowder and second place for their stuffed quahogs as well as the first prize for their kale soup.
“We just want to show the community just how wonderful our food is,” said the Cottages Assistant General Manager Ann LaMere. “And we usually win something every year.”
But winning is less of a focus for the group.
“We were just so excited to be there yesterday,” said LaMere.“We didn’t care if we won anything, we just had so much fun.”
Although head chef Angela Pina has only been working at the Cottages for two years, according to LaMere, she is “fantastic” and has a great team behind her.
LaMere added that Pina has been let in on the facility’s “very secret” soup recipes handed down from older staffers through the years.
“We’re beating restaurant chowder,” LaMere noted proudly, adding that other cooks have asked them for their recipes. “Nobody gets to know them...We’ll never tell!”
She laughed, before revealing the not-so-secret ingredient: “A whole lotta heart.”
The Cottages’ soups are available for purchase by the quart. All proceeds go to support the Alzheimer’s Association.