Over 300 gallons of classic and creative chili along with classic and creative mac ‘n cheese dishes were devoured by approximately 1,200 people who attended The Great Mac & Chili Challenge at Sherwood Island State Park on Sunday, Nov. 4th. The crowd arrived early with muffin tins in hand to hold their samples to ensure they got to sample and vote on everything at the event.
“The weather was perfect for this comfort food event which contributed to the good turnout,” said Jim Keenan, event director. “It’s always difficult to estimate how much each restaurant should make as you don’t want to make too much so the crowd was smart to come early as some restaurants tend to run out before the end of the event. Thankfully everyone was full and happy when they left”.
The 2018 champions include Hub & Spoke in Bridgeport won for the third year in a row for their classic 3 bean beef chili beating out newcomer Clubhouse Grille in Norwalk, Dinosaur BBQ in Stamford, Fleisher’s Craft Butchery in Westport and Senor Salsa in Westport
Old Post Tavern won the creative chili category with a “meat lovers chili” besting Cask Republic of Stamford, Geronimo Tequila Bar in Fairfield and Simply Delicious Catering, last years champion.
Burger Bar & Bistro in Norwalk won the classic mac ‘n cheese category for the second consecutive year beating runner-up Tacos Mexico in Norwalk and their “Queso Mac”
In the hotly contested creative mac category, Cask Republic in Stamford won for their second championship with their popular pesto mac‘n cheese. The dish outscored a cheeseburger mac from I’m the Mac in Stamford, a Buffalo mac from Planet Pizza in Norwalk, a beer braised short rib mac from Tarry Lodge in Westport and a “jacked mac” from Simply Delicious Catering in Norwalk that has won this event previous years.
The event raised additional funds to be added to those raised at Chowdafest to be donated to Food Rescue US in the ongoing fight against hunger. The combined events should fund over a half million rescued meals for the food insecure.