Approximately 2,000 people made their way to the 28th annual Big Chili Contest at the Portuguese-American Club in Oak Bluffs last Saturday, Jan. 25, and tasted chili from 16 vendors. The event’s beneficiary, The Red Stocking Fund, netted approximately $34,000, according to Greg Orcutt, general manager of mvyradio, the event’s sponsor.
Many Island restaurants, as well as amateur chili aficionados, made their special recipes for the contest. The competition categories include “Is It Really Chili?,” “Farthest Traveled” (last year’s came from Florida), “Best Presentation,” “Steve Jordan Memorial Hottest Chili” (Mr. Jordan retired from the contest to judge after winning the category 18 straight years), “Best Pro” and “Best Amateur” chili.
And the winners are:
Best Professional chili, third place: Wicked Chili from the Wicked Restaurant and Wine Bar in Mashpee and Dedham.
Best professional chili, second place: The Black Dog.
Best professional chili, first place: Quahog Republic of Falmouth.
Farthest traveled chili: Dr. Jack’s Love Chili from Glastonbury, Connecticut. Dr. Jack has won before but not last year.
Best veggie chili: No Teenie Peenie from Hopkinton.
Best Presentation: Edgartown Firemen’s Association.
Is that really chili?: MVOL won for their chili chocolate bites.
Hottest chili: Wicked Chili won the fire extinguisher prize.
For the Amateur third place, Dr. Jack’s Better Love Chili by Jack Lavalette and Mike Spellman of Glastonbury, Ct.
Amateur second prize went to Jim Pringle.
Amateur first prize went to Bob Costello for his official Carver Cranberry Chili. (Times Calendar editor Eleni Roriz reported: “It was SO GOOD!!!”)
Times photo editor Ralph Stewart was on the scene and reports:
“I tasted all of the chili but two. There also was MV Ole mole chili chocolate bites. Didn’t try that. So, I tasted 10 chilis from nine vendors. No Teenie Peenie Chili of Hopkinton had two versions—Venison and bacon; and a veggie (I had both). The Newes had a chicken, white bean chili with a creme fraiche and nine different peppers that was actually pretty tasty, though more like a soup.
“The tent in front of the PA Club (and the club itself) was still filling up when I left. The Mariachi Mexico Lindo band was in full swing. My favorite chili was Official Carver Chili (amateurs from Carver, Mass.) Rob Costello and Bob Poulin were serving; a sweet and spicy chili that had cranberries in it. Next, gotta say, The Black Dog. A little hotter (spicier) this year but terrific. Third, I liked another amateur chili called Que Tease Barbecue from Plymouth. Christine and Mike Conrod served it up. The chili had a variety of peppers and smoked meats. They said that they were on the Pitmasters TV Show. But I wish I had tasted that Quahog chili.”
Mr. Orcutt said the threat of bad weather and high winds caused the contest to lose some off-Island regular contestants and one new contestant.