Bella Napoli Crushes Competition at Crab Soup Cook-Off

This Pasadena restaurant is owned by a father-son pair, who promise to return to the Cook-Off next year to defend their title.

Pasadena Italian restaurant Bella Napoli crushed their competition this weekend at the Maryland Seafood Festival, bringing home the first place title in both competitive categories of The Capital's Crab Soup Cook-Off.


This was the 21st annual Crab Soup Cook-Off hosted by the Maryland Seafood Festival, which took place this past weekend at Sandy Point State Park. Restaurants from around the state entered their soups in the competition, presenting vegetable, cream and alternative crab soups to be judged by both the public and a panel of judges.


Bella Napoli has participated in the cook-off for the past three years, winning neither category in 2009, but taking the People's Choice award in 2010 for their cream of crab soup.


2011 proved to be Bella Napoli's year, with the restaurant winning both Judges' Choice and People's Choice for their cream of crab soup recipe at this year's competition.


Pasquale Carannante co-owns the restaurant with his father, Biagio. The pair said that they transported 32 gallons of their winning soup to the festival, preparing it in advance in the kitchen of their restaurant.


“This was going to be the last year we participated in the cook-off,” Pasquale Carannante said, “We are so proud to have swept both categories – People and Judges. It means so much to me to know not only that the community and our customers support us, but also that we were recognized by the panel of judges this year.”


The Carannantes said that, after their sweeping win, they will return to the Maryland Seafood Festival in 2012 to defend their title.


“Last year, I was disappointed not to win the Judges' Choice award,” said Biagio Carannante, “But I said to many people that I was happier to have pleased 1,000 people in the People's Choice category than I would have been to please only five in the Judges' Choice. I'm happy that this year we swept both and pleased everyone involved in the judging.”


For information about Bella Napoli and their award-winning menu, visit the restaurant's website, or “like” Bella Napoli on Facebook.

R.T. Klamm September 14, 2011 at 02:02 PM
Having had the good fortune to do a bit of traveling some years ago I decided to consume chicken fried stake wherever on the menu In an effort to determine just where the BEST chicken fried steak could be found. It did not take long to determine there is no such thing as delicious chicken fried steak. I then modified my quest to search out the el primo of Cream of Crab Soup. This has been a far more pleasurable expierance although in an effort to create a stick to your ribs soup numerous establishment have taken to introducing sparse shreads of crab in to wall paper paste. Have all the politically biased contests you want, in the end the only real cream of crab soup (not paste) with an incredible amount of chunky crab meat will be found at Yogies' Place, on Fort Smallwood Road in Pasadena. One note of caution if you think Cream of Crab soup should be blan lack flavor and have the texture of heavy gravy go elsewhere because none of those characteristics will be found in Yogies' cream od crab soup. Also give their Maryland Crab Soup a try, WOW! And for those of you no longer consuming carbs ask about Yogies' off the menu build your own Pizza Top, simply incredible. When you think Cream of Crab, think Yogies'
Terri Peters September 14, 2011 at 07:32 PM
R.T. - If you feel that strongly about the soup at Yogi's, you should encourage them to enter the Cook-Off next year as well. It would be interesting to see two Pasadena restaurants square off for the title!


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