Chili Chowder Contest Cape May
CAPE MAY- An estimated 130 gallons of homemade chili and clam chowder were served to over 900 patrons at the 8th annual Cape May Chili & Chowder Cook Off February 18.
The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May organized the event and a portion of the $10 admission fee went to support Cape May area food banks.
“The Grand Hotel donated the use of the ballroom this year,” said Doreen Talley, marketing director for the chamber of commerce. “This allowed our Community Outreach program to donate to area food banks for the third time this year.”
Fifteen Gallons of Chili
Chris Bezaire, a local Coldwell Banker Realtor, took top chili honors with his Oklahoma style chili.
“I prepared over 15 gallons of chili,” Bezaire said. “Mine included 30 pounds of ground beef and sweet Italian sausage, six different peppers and over 15 seasonings.”
Raymond Rogers, of Cape May Point, and environmental educator, enjoyed the clam chowder dished up by Harry’s Bar and Grill of the Montreal Inn and Beach Resort.
“It tasted really fresh and delicious,” Rogers said.
Harry’s won the chowder division of the contest.
Mary Kelly, of Hoboken, was attending the cook off event for the first time.
“Harry’s Clam Chowder and Gaiss’ chili were my favorites,” Kelly said. “Theirs is a simply great chili where the flavors meld beautifully.”
This was the Grand Hotel’s third year hosting the event. Management this year, could be seen regulating the flow of traffic up the two elevators and stairways. Patrons waited in a line that stretched outside the hotel’s front doors.
The annual event has outgrown previous locations. Originally at Cabanas, on Beach avenue, then Congress Hall’s ballroom and Marq’s Pub at the Marquis de La Fayette hotel.
In addition to the cash donation by the chamber of commerce, attendees brought canned goods to be donated to local food banks.
A total of 13 participants prepared chili or clam chowder. Each cook was encouraged to make at least 10 gallons.
“We sold over 300 tickets in the first hour” reported Talley. “The Grand did a great job keeping the line moving comfortably and safely.”
There were a handful of refunds reported to people who did not wish to wait in line.
The People’s Choice Over All Winner, voting conducted by tickets into individually numbered buckets, was Shore Side Catering of Cape May Court House.