Tickets for the 4th Annual Great Mac & Chili Challenge at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport CT for Sunday November 4, 2018 are now on sale online at www.MacAndChiliChallenge.com. The Great Mac and Chili Challenge is the little sister culinary competition to Chowdafest. “We started this event years ago because so many people who enjoy Chowdafest asked about chili. Chili is another popular comfort food but it deserves a separate event” said Jim Keenan, event director. “We realized that’s it’s very difficult to hold a chili-only event as after a few samples, they start tasting the same so it was natural to pair it with mac ‘n cheese. So if you alternate sampling a chili with a mac ‘n cheese, you can determine who has the best of both”.
Like Chowdafest, everyone gets a spoon, pencil and a ballot when they check in. They enjoy unlimited sampling of up to 20 different chili and mac n' cheese entries from great local restaurants. Admission is just $15 for adults and $5 for kids (6-12), parking is FREE. The event will benefit Food Rescue US in the ongoing fight against food insecurity. The Great Mac & Chili Challenge is rain or shine and will be under the pavilion if the weather is inclement.
Restaurants compete in one of four categories: Classic chili, classic mac, creative chili and creative mac. This year’s competition roster includes: Burger Bar & Bistro* (Norwalk), Cask Republic* (Stamford), Clubhouse Grille (Norwalk), Dinosaur BBQ (Stamford), Fleisher’s Craft Butchery (Westport), Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill* (Fairfield), Hub & Spoke* (Black Rock), I’m the Mac (Stamford), Little Pub (Fairfield, Greenwich, Ridgefield, Wilton), Old Post Tavern (Fairfield), Planet Pizza (Norwalk), Senor Salsa (Westport), Simply Delicious* (Westport), Tacos Mexicon (Norwalk) and Tarry Lodge (Westport) *defending category champion.
The event has origins as Chilifest but when Keenan added the mac ‘n cheese component, they needed to change the name and wanted to stay away from the word fest. “When we started Chowdafest, there were no other fests around but now everyone calls their event a fest. We wanted this event to stand out plus personally, we wanted to pay homage to one of the best things about this time of year – “The Great Pumpkin” by Charles Schultz. Who doesn’t love Linus staying up all night to catch the Great Pumpkin? Maybe you’ll find him at the Great Mac & Chili Challenge” he laughed.