Bayonne Heats Winter Brrrs with Chili Contest
Family Fun; Contestants Vie for Champ Title
By Sally Deering
If you’ve got a hankerin’ for some hot stuff to warm these frigid cold nights, then mark your calendar for Bayonne’s first ever Chili Cook Off Competition, where 15 professional chefs plan to do whatever it takes to walk away with the title of Best Chili Champ of Bayonne!
As temps drop to single digits, Bayonne will be heating up its pots and pans for the First Annual Chili Cook-Off Contest to be held Friday, Jan. 19th, from 6:30-11 pm at the Polish American Home on 22nd Street in Bayonne. There, residents and friends will taste the offerings of 15 qualified chefs competing for best chili recipe, but Chili Cook-Off attendees beware: this cook-off promises to bring on the hot stuff with crates of chili peppers, ladles of Cayenne and Cumin seasonings and gallons of tongue-lashing hot sauce guaranteed to set your taste-buds on fire.
- It’s a feel-good community event sponsored by the City of Bayonne, its Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Enterprise Zone office which partnered to bring a little competition to the community and spice things up during this frigid winter season. Mayor James Davis says he plans to be there and join in the fun.
“Bayonne’s first annual chili cook-off will be the latest of our special events that bring the community together for fun, friendship, music, and food,” Mayor Davis says. “I look forward to seeing our great, local chili cooks in action. I invite everyone to come with your family and friends, and enjoy the great chili.”
The restaurants in the competition will include MezCal Kitchen, Houlihan’s, Pizza Masters, Cafe Bello Ristorante, and Bake n’ Brew, Dee Dee Bottino, Assistant UEZ/SID Coordinator and one of the organizers of the cook-off says.
“It will be a fun night of great country music by the Joe Bayer Band, and Albert Fac will be giving Country line dance lessons,” Bottino says. “It will be a competition for the best chili, but most of all, a fun networking event.”
The chili cook-off rules clearly state that anything goes chili-wise, although USDA approved meats are required and each contestant must provide at least five gallons of chili for tasting. Chili dishes must also be labeled: “Mild,” “Medium,” “Hot,” and “Atomic,” and NO HOME COOKS could enter the competition. All chili to be served in the chili cook-off must be prepared in a legal business kitchen or restaurant on the day of the competition.
Judging will be done by chili cook-off attendees, therefore, contestants are encouraged to dress up in costume to compete for first, second and third place prizes. It’s all in good fun, Bottino says, and part of the proceeds of the cook-off go Hoboken’s First Responders.
“A portion of the monies raised at the chili cook-off will be donated to the Police and Fire Departments, and the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organization,” Bottino says.
As for the winners – yes, there will be several categories for competitors – they get to walk away with “bragging rights” as Bayonne’s First-Ever City Chili Champs.
- If you go
- Fri, Jan. 19, 6:30 pm-11 pm
Bayonne Chili Cook-Off
Polish American Home
29 W. 22nd St, BOHO
Tix: $25 pre-sale; $30 at the door