Make Voting this November Great Again.
Who has the best mac n' cheese and chili is as controversial as the current presidential election but one thing is for sure, at least one election this November will be more than just palatable, it will be delicious! The Great Mac and Chili Challenge, sister event to Yankee Magazine's top event of the season Chowdafest, comes to Westport's Sherwood Island State Park on Sunday November 6th just two days before the national election. “We love the timing of this event” said Jim Keenan, event director. “Voting is on everyone's mind especially this year so why not vote for something all-American like who has the best mac 'n cheese and chili”.
There are twenty entries featured in this event over three categories: Classic Beef Chili, Creative Chili and Mac n' Cheese. Restaurants include defending champions, Chili Bomb of Fairfield (classic chili), Little Pub of Fairfield, Greenwich, Ridgefield and Wilton (creative chili), along with Simply Delicious of Norwalk (mac n' cheese). Keenan says that like Chowdafest, this event is designed to promote terrific chefs and their restaurants, giving people a “little taste” of why they should visit these restaurants. “If you think this is good, wait to you try the rest of the menu” Keenan says. He adds the timing is great as the weather is perfect for comfort food and it will help the restaurants create momentum into the upcoming holiday season. Other restaurants in the competition include The Blind Rhino in Norwalk, Bogey's of Norwalk, DrewbaQ a food truck in Fairfield County, Hub & Spoke of Black Rock Bridgeport, TruNorth of Black Rock Bridgeport, Walrus & Carpenter of Black Rock Bridgeport, Liquid Lunch of Shelton and Milford, Hoodoo BBQ of Ridgefield, Old Post Tavern of Fairfield, Geronimo of Fairfield and New Haven, Chef's Table of Fairfield, and Judy's Bar & Kitchen of Stamford. Some of these restaurants have entered in more than one category.
Previously, this event has been held over Super Bowl weekend the past couple years and was formerly known as Chilifest. When asked about the date, venue and menu change, Keenan said “Most chili cook-offs are held outside mainly because it's difficult to find an indoor venue big enough to accommodate all the chili lovers but also because the fall weather makes us appreciate warm comfort foods even more. We tweaked our name because we wanted to be different from all the “fests” that are around because we're a different kind of an event. Calling it “The Great Mac and Chili Challenge” has a great Charlie Brown, Fall kind of vibe to it which brings out the kid in all of us. We're thrilled to move the event to Sherwood Island as it's been an ideal venue for Chowdafest. However, we'll be in the open air covered pavilion as this event is smaller than Chowdafest. From the emails and Facebook comments, people seem really excited about coming in a few weeks. It should be a hot ticket.”
The event uses the successful people's choice format of Chowdafest, giving everyone a spoon, ballot and pencil upon entry. However voting is slightly different as people are given three votes per category. “Sometimes it's just too hard to narrow your favorite to just one” Keenan noted. However, for those who can narrow their choice to just one or two, people can give all three of their category votes to just one restaurant or break them up giving one restaurant two votes and assigning the third to someone else. “The restaurants work very hard at trying to get more than just one vote in their favor”.
Tickets to the The Great Mac and Chili Challenge are just $15 adults, $5 kids (6-12) and parking is free. The event runs from 11AM to 3PM and the ticket includes sampling of ice cream and milk from The Farmer's Cow too.