State Rep. Dave Rutigliano (R-123) and Executive Chef Christopher Molyneux of Trumbull’s Parallel Post Restaurant attended the kickoff event for the 6th Annual Chowdafest recently.

Rutigliano, a two time champion and Corporate Chef for the Southport Brewing Company (SBC), is seeking this year to gain back his title after his corn and poblano chowder took third place last year in the “Creative Chowder” category. The waste-free fundraiser, presented by Stop & Shop, will see local chefs and restaurants compete for bragging rights, with all proceeds benefitting the Connecticut Food Bank.

“Every year, thousands of people come out to try some great chowders and soups and give their support to our friends and neighbors struggling with hunger, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Rep. Rutigliano. “This event has grown so much since its first year, and it’s a pleasure to be able to compete against some really talented chefs for a great cause.”

Rep. Rutigliano is the only person to have won first place twice, and has placed in the top three spots in four out of the event’s five years. He will be competing this year in the “Creative Chowder” and “Soups & Bisque” categories.

Chowdafest is held each year as a pre-game event on Superbowl Sunday, and every person attending gets to participate as a judge. Last year, the event drew nearly 2,500 guests and collected almost 1,500 pounds of food for the Connecticut Food Bank.

“Fun, family events like Chowdafest allow people to have a great time, and support their hungry neighbors,” said the President and CEO of Connecticut Food Bank, Nancy L. Carrington. “The need for food assistance is increasing in Connecticut - more than a half million people in the state do not always know where their next meal will come from. This makes support from events like Chowdafest all the more important.”

For those interested in taste-testing a bowl of soup before the Superbowl, Chowdafest will be held Feb. 2, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport.

For additional information about the Chowdafest, please visit www.chowdafest.org.