Tag Archives: cook off

1st Annual Charity Chili Challenge Hits Trinity Catholic H.S. in Stamford

18 Apr

 

You eat, you vote...everyone wins

You eat, you vote…everyone wins

After the past few days of bitter cold weather and that crazy day of waking up to a thick layer of ice on our cars, you know it’s the perfect time to warm up a bit.  And, that’s exactly what the North Stamford Exchange Club has in store for you with their 1st Annual Charity Chili Challenge on 4/27 from 1-4 pm at Trinity Catholic High School.  Local residents and plenty of home cooks have been prepping and perfecting their chili recipes just for this cook off.  Also, there will be some professional chefs competing such as Old Post Tavern, Bridge Street Wienery, LaRocca’s Country Market, and Parkway Diner.  When you attend ($10 donation is suggested), you’ll get to sample all the chili and vote on your favorite.  The winners will get prizes and there will also be a 50/50 drawing so you could win big, too.  To wash all that chili down pick up some water for $1 or a brewski for $4…not too shabby. 

Donations and money collected from the Charity Chili Challenge will go directly to the Exchange Club Parenting Skills Center.  Here’s the mission of the Parenting Skills Center:

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Aarón Sánchez to Judge Future Chefs Cook Off Hosted by Hunter Zampa to Benefit Friend with Leukemia

19 Mar
Chef Hunter Zampa who competed on Rachael vs. Guy discusses the finer points of his killer venison chili

Hunter Zampa is the youngest Chopped Champion and competed in the show Rachael vs. Guy!

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

Friends.  They gladly give of themselves to help you, support you, and get you through the hardest moments of your life.  That’s just what Hunter Zampa of Stamford (13) is doing with a fundraiser that he’s organized.  He wanted to help his schoolmate, Eli Schwartz, who was diagnosed with Leukemia.  So, using his skills in the kitchen and bringing together a team of culinary hopefuls, he created an event called Future Chefs Cook Off, being held at The Italian Center of Stamford.  While it’s still far away (6/8/14 from 12-3), Hunter’s on the lookout for some talented future chefs, high school age or younger.  Entries are due by midnight of April 8 and the Top 10 contestants will be posted on Hunter’s FB page on April 21.

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Fairway Market + Cos Cob Fire Police Patrol Host Shopping Day for Abilis of Greenwich

13 Nov

fairway-logoBack on July 2, we told you about local firefighters going face-to-face and grill-to-grill in the Fairway Firefighters Food Face-Off.  The contest, held on July 13, pitted Norton Heights, Westport, Belltown, and Cos Cob’s fire departments against each other.  Not only would the winners get major cred, bragging rights, and a $500 gift card, but they’d also earn a special fundraising day for the charity of their choice.

Because Cos Cob Fire Police Patrol (led by Sgt. Sebastian Dostmann) won this year, they chose to help benefit one of their favorite charities, Abilis.  This non-profit works hard to help out people with disabilities throughout their entire lives.  Now, it’s your part to help out!  Just shop at Fairway Market Stamford on November 20 from 4-9 PM and 25% of your bill will go directly to Abilis.  Just make sure that you’ve registered (look for people by the entrance or registers) before you check out!

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Biggest Turn Out EVER @ Stamford Chili Cook-off!

5 Nov

Please check our Facebook Page for a photo gallery.

What makes up a great chili?  Beans, peppers, onions, spices, veggies, beef, or even venison?  Sure, we all have our likes and dislikes in this perfect fall and winter dish, but at the Sixth Annual Stamford Chili Cook-off, over 300 hungry visitors had the final say.

Held on Sunday, 11/3, the Stamford Chili Cook-off had bigger digs, usually held at the Stamford Unitarian Universalist Church.  This year it was part of the Touch a Truck event at Stamford Museum & Nature Center.  Organized by Joe Gonzalez, the contest was an amazing hit, bringing people in from all over to vote in their favorite chili.  By the end of the day, there were hundreds of votes and lots of money raised for the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.  We’re talking about just around $1,700 raised as well as countless bags of groceries to help feed the hungry.

The competition was definitely heated (except for Joey Kuntz’s dessert chili which was served up cold), but all the contestants went around, talked with each other, and tasted each other’s chili.  This was a great event and there was some awesome chili.  We look forward to the 7th Annual Chili Cook-off next year…and so should you!

Here are the winners:

1st: The Benzaken’s “Three Bird Chili” – (Alain and daughters Casey and Jordan)
2nd: Wakeman Town Farm –Chipotle Veggie Chili with Cornbread
3rd: Rama Kumanduri and Cristina Romero –”Chili con Pasion”

And here is the description of each chili:

A) The Benzakens – “Three Bird Chili” – Inspired by the Thanksgiving season, former champs Casey and Jordan have created a special chili that includes smoked duck, chicken and turkey. A spicy blend that includes chipotle peppers and white beans, this chili will make your senses soar high, even though none of these birds can actually fly. Well…maybe the ducks. In any case, stop by our table and enjoy our unique chili!

B) Joe Kuntz – From the “transplanted Texan gone crazy”, we have a Vegetarian dessert chili! No meat, some sweet, and some heat! Served on corn tortillas.

C) Brian Cronin – “24 Hour East River Couch Chili” – The East River has often been referred to by the NYC Police and Fire Rescue teams as “Deep, Dark and Dangerous”. I just added Delicious to that identity, and you now have my chili! Simmered for a minimum of 24 hours with no less than 16 ingredients. Fresh white corn and a secret smoke component are the standouts in this Deep, Dark, Dangerous and Delicious three meat batch. Brother Sean has concocted his rich cornbread to accompany this tummy bath to soothe any heat that may linger too long.

D) Wakeman Town Farm – “Chipotle Veggie Chili With Cornbread” – This chili is made from organic vegetables harvested from Wakeman Town Farm in Westport as well as Sport Hill Farm in Easton and several other Fairfield County farms. Made with an all vegetable stock, homemade smoked jalapeno, organic veggies and topped with a cilantro cornbread. It will have a mildly smoky flavor with a slight spicy kick. Our recipe will be available to take home!

E) Robin Skidmore – “Mighty Bruin Tex-Mex” – Take a walk on the “Wild Side” with this rare chance to try wild bear – a rich red meat much like beef, all flavor, no gamey edge. You’ll be amazed how delicious it is! But while bear is the heart of this chili, the Mexican spices are its soul. Hot peppers are paired off with fresh cilantro and Mexican oregano for a flavorful slow burn that will have your taste buds begging for another spoonful!

F) Bill and Jean Marie Warncke – “Buffalo Bill’s Southwest GRILLED Chili” – This year we have a new take on a chili cook-off classic! Buffalo Bill has taken his formula of savory meats, peppers and spices to the next level by incorporating grilled ingredients sure to win over even the toughest chili judge! A little bit of smoky-ness, a little bit of heat and a lot of flavor is packed into every bite!

G) Chef Hunter Zampa (competed on Rachael vs. Guy) – Venison Chili with a unique twist of Asian inspired flavors sure to warm your heart and soul!

H) Shawn Carlson – Do you feel like a Sam Adams? Do you love chili? Who does not love bacon? Well come one, come all, and enjoy…”Sam Adams Cowboy Beef and Bacon Lager Chili”! Beans, beef, peppers, spices, Sam Adams, and BACON!!!!! Enjoy, and vote for the Cowboy!

I) It’s Getting Chili In Here! – HEAT and SWEET! Long, slow simmered meat, spices, tomatoes and 3 chile base with a secret ingredient for a flavorful finale!

J) Stamford HS Marching Band – “Rancher’s Spicy Pinto Bean and Chicken Chili” – Pinto beans, chicken, onion, garlic, tomatoes, green peppers, chili powder, salt, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.

K) Bold for the Gold – Dan Tewes and his daughter Sarah make a chili that is bold and spicy, rich in beef with fresh veggies. The chili up front heat is not overpowering, which allows you to enjoy all the flavors. However, the heat builds as you eat more and is best consumed with a cold beverage of choice!

L) Rama Kumanduri and Cristina Romero– “Chile con Pasión” – A unique balance of fresh and dry Chiles (roasted and smoked, hot and flavorful) combined with peppers and spices from around the world to pleasure your palate!

Firefighters Face off for Charity at Fairway in Stamford; Customer Appreciation Day

2 Jul

Stamford’s gonna be BBQ heaven on July 13!  And, some local firefighters from Cos Cob, Noroton Heights, Westport, and Belltown are helping to make that happen.  Oh yes, it’s time for the third annual Fairway Firefighters Food Face-Off.  The fire companies that we just mentioned will do battle over the grill in the hopes of winning a special shopping night at Fairway with 25% of sales going to the charity of the winner’s choice.  In addition, the winning firefighters (Cos Cob won last year) will know they rock the grill and will also snag a $500 gift card to Fairway Market.

The local firefighters will be cooking with food that Fairway donated and will need to include a secret ingredient in their burgers just before the contest starts.  And, if you stop by to watch the contest, you’ll get to sample their handiwork!  Plus, in addition to this, it’s customer appreciation day so you can expect lots of samples around the store.  The grillmagedon begins at noon in the parking lot behind Fairway Market in Stamford.

Good luck to all the brave men and women who keep us safe.  May the best grillers win!

Fairway Market

699 Canal Street

Stamford, CT

 

The Momma’s Boy Cook-off: Moms Battle Their Famous Local Chef Sons

8 Mar

Momma's Boy invite

•••

Aww, mother and son.  The love and the bond between both is inseparable and is stronger than that guy in a hardhat who is glued to the beam in that Krazy Glue commercial.  Ah, yes, mother and son.  While we could wax poetic about the bond more, we’ll leave it to Woman to Woman Magazine.  They recently published an article written by Linda Kavanagh about five chefs and how their moms influenced their careers.  As an outgrowth of this great article, there is going to be a contest between mom and son to see who’s best.  Well, we don’t dare take sides.  If we say mom will do best, the chefs will be mad at us, but if we say the chefs will do better then we’ll get yelled at in strange languages and/or hit with spoons, pizza servers, or sandals by the moms.  Really, you can’t win…oh, but you do win at The Momma’s Boy Cook-off because you get to sample all the food that the chefs and their moms are making, get some recipe ideas, and even do some schmoozing.  Here are the contestants and all the info:

Thursday, April 11 @ 6 PM at Aitoro of Norwalk

$40 per ticket, advanced purchase only

  • Chef Pat Pascarella of Bar Sugo faces off against his mother, Gina Pascarella.
  • The Singing Chef, Neil Fuentes (also a spokesperson for Sabra Hummus) tries to out-cook his Italian mother-in-law, Dee DiCrosta.
  • Chef Biagio “Gino” Riccio of Quattro Pazzi/Osianna/BOCA goes up against his Greek mother-in-law, Anna Giapoutzis.
  • Chef Kausik Roy of Tawa will be fighting for bragging rights against his mom, Shibani Roy.
  • And, finally, we have Chef Michael Marchetti of Columbus Park Trattoria/Applausi Osteria/Tarantino Osteria who must somehow go against Marie Marchetti who is well known for her awesome handmade pasta.

Anybody care to take bets?  Who do you think will win in each battle?

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Got Chili? Saugatuck Craft Butchery Announces Connecticut Chili Classic

7 Mar
Chili Today, Hot Tamale

Chili Today, Hot Tamale

The Connecticut Chili Cup.

Is it a cup, literary made of chili?

Is it a cup that holds chili peppers?

Is it a cup given in honor of The Red Hot Chili Peppers?

Or is it the trophy for Saugatuck Craft Butchery’s inaugural chili cooking contest, The Connecticut Chili Classic, to see who can make the best chili?

Okay, okay, we know you just want the details, so out with them:

Starting today through the weekend Saugatuck Craft Butchery is pre-selling competitor slots to their friends (like them on FB, dudes and dudettes). 

To enter, you’ll need to call up (203) 226-6328 to reserve one of the 25 spots.

The entry fee is $75 and that will get you, according to their FB post:

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