Chili contest a hot time on Martha’s Vineyard

Chili contest a hot time on Martha’s Vineyard

by -
Brianna Albert and Bethany Butler of Middleboro were appropriately dressed. — Photo by Ralph Stewart
The crew from Quahog Republic restaurant in Falmouth and Onset celebrate first place in the Professional category.
The crew from Quahog Republic restaurant in Falmouth and Onset celebrate first place in the Professional category.

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.

No Teenie Peenie of Hopkinton won for Best Vegetarian Chili.
No Teenie Peenie of Hopkinton won for Best Vegetarian Chili.

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.

Ramon Ruiz of Mariachi Mexico Lindo.
Ramon Ruiz of Mariachi Mexico Lindo.

“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.


    1. It’s a nice story. It helps to bring the community together. Are you concerned that the Times was going to run out of web space?

  1. 2,000 people who spend at least $50.00 a person ($30.00 to get in and $20.00 in drinks) equals $100,000. And I would think $50.00 per person is a low average. Not a great return for a charity event.

    1. Bob – please tell me you aren’t serious. A “great return”? I would call raising 34K for the less fortunate….and having some fun at the same time…..something incredibly special…..even a bean-counting accountant can see that.

      1. I see you are a kid in Katama otherwise you would know that a good charity only spends around 20% on cost and the rest goes to charity. Yes it was a fun event and any money given to Red Stocking is good. The problem is this event cost around 65% to put on and is only a charity event in name. There are plenty of people making excellent money here in the name of a charity. And my numbers are very conservative.

        1. Ok Bob – they didn’t hit the 20% but you miss the most important outcome – they raised 34K for the unfortunate. I’m not a kid Bob. – I’m 60 years old and some of my friend’s will directly benefit from this event. You can’t see the forest for the trees in your perfect world.

          1. With age your reading skills can fade as I did say any money given is good. My sight is perfect and can see what this event really is.

          2. Ok Bob – we’re all waiting – enlighten us – share with us “what this event really is”.

          3. OK Kid it looks like you did not comprehend or get the gist of what I said,
            for those who still need more clarification. This is a business event to make money and on the side they give a little to Charity. Nothing wrong with that and the people who make excellent money off of this event earn it but they earn it on the back of a Charity. If this was not a charity event the town would not put up with this so they hide behind the cloak of a charity event.