One of our favorite events of the year is the ever-growing and ever-popular Stamford Charity Chili Cook-Off. Started as a small event in a local Stamford church, this event has grown every year with more competitors and even more hungry tasters. This year the tradition continues on November 6 from 11-3 right at Stamford Museum & Nature Center. There will be 15 home cooks, chefs, and restaurants this year, all vying for your votes! Who will win the coveted first place prize? Will Mayor Martin’s chili take down the competition? Will the students at JM Wright Tech uphold their number one spot? Also, who will be the contestants who win special trophies and rewards from four special judges (more on this below)?
To get into SM&NC, it will cost $5, then entrance to the Cook-Off will be either $10 for a person 12 or older, or you could bring a heaping bag of non-perishable food items. After all, this is a vital fundraiser for The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County!
After you’ve nommed away on the fantastic chilis, make sure to take a walk through the Nature Center and check out all it has to offer. It’s really a beautiful spot, plus if you have kids, there’s also a Touch-a-Truck event going down at the same time!
We’d like to thank Joe Gonzalez for organizing such a great event and Elisa Gorman of New View PR for not only competing this year, but for also helping to organize donations of gift cards from Pinot’s Palette, Boothbay Lobster Company, and Bareburger. We’d also love to thank Linda Kavanagh and Andrea Viscuso of MaxEx PR who represent Sign of the Whale, Johnny Utah’s, and Bar B Q who are also giving gift cards to winners and have restaurants competing.
Competitors and their chilis this year include:
- Brian Cronin, Ryan Tufts, Sean Cronin – “The Laser Blasters”
- Joe Kuntz – “Chili By Joey K”
- George Dallas, Rob Giordano – “Doesn’t Suck Too Bad”
- Josh Levine, Jeff Manheim – “Hot Beef Infusion”
- Brian Murphy, Alejandro Nakayabu – “Sign of the Whale” (Restaurant)
- Mayor David Martin, Thomas Madden, Ben Maden – “Mayor’s Office”
- Tony Olive, Stephanie Marsh-Olive, Nicole Olive, Felicia Morales – “Backdraft Bar-BQ”
- JM Wright Culinary Class with Chef Francine Bove & Chef Justin Williams – “JM Wright Tech Warriors”
- Brian Ash, Erin Ash, Brian McDonald – “Pig N’ Vinegar”
- Greg Cox
- Julio Hermenejildo
- Chef Richard “Dicky” Longo, CJ LaMotta – “Chef and The Magic Man” (The Bar B Q Stamford Restaurant team)
- Elisa Gorman, Charlie Scopoletti – “New View”
- Steve Nevard and Gary Hodgdon II – “The Chili Boys”
- Cory Rizzolo and Shay Cronin – “Johnny Utah’s in Sono”
Special judges this year include Kaitlyn Klampert, 2016 Miss Teen of Connecticut. She will be handing out the “Crowning Glory Chili” award for her favorite choice. The winner will receive a trophy, a Stamford Charity Chili Cook-Off apron, and gift cards to restaurants like Boothbay Lobster Company, Bareburger, Bar B Q, and Sign of the Whale. The second judge is Chef Nicole DeMent, formerly of Sur La Table in White Plains. Her trophy is the chili boss award and will give that out along with the apron and a $75 gift certificate to a cooking class at Sur La Table. And, yes, the third is both of us. We’ll be giving out the “Most Nomworthy Chili” trophy, an apron, a certificate for two classes at Pinot’s Pallete, and gift cards to some great local restaurants.
We hope to see you all there!