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Chili Day in Cutler Bay draws record crowds

Chili Day in Cutler Bay draws record crowds

Chili Day in Cutler Bay

Pictured are the First Place Chili winners, the Grillin’ and Chillin’ Crew, along with council members Peggy Bell and Sue Ellen Loyzelle (far right).

The town’s fourth annual winter event, “Chili Day in Cutler Bay” on Saturday, Jan. 5, was rated “a tremendous success” by Parks and Recreation director Alan Ricke.

“We had larger crowds than ever before, an excellent band — the Andrew Morris Band — and about 10,000 samples of chili, salsa and cornbread provided by the competitors and happily gobbled up by those who attended the event,” Ricke said. “We had 15 competitive entries and several other chefs who provided chili in the ‘fun’ category, meaning not eligible for any awards.”

Chili Day in Cutler Bay

Jazmin Gonzalez (center) of Not Your Daddy’s Chili, The People’s
Choice Chili winners, holds the trophy with her team members and
Mayor Ed MacDougall (right).

The chili cook-off festival took place in Cutler Ridge Park and was presented by sponsor Mercedes Benz of Cutler Bay. Ricke said that more than 600 people cast votes for the People’s Choice Chili.

“The fan favorite was ‘Not Your Daddy’s Chili,’ which beat out ‘The Pink Pig’ by just eight votes,” Ricke said. “Most of our town council members, Mayor Ed MacDougall, Vice Mayor Ernie Sochin, Councilmember Peggy Bell and Councilmember Sue Ellen Loyzelle, were on hand to help present the trophies and over $800 in awards and prizes.”

THE AWARD WINNERS ARE: CORNBREAD:

1st Place – Grillin’ & Chillin’ Crew;

2nd Place – Country Cornbread, and

3rd Place – T&W Substantial Subs & BBQ.

SALSA:

1st Place – Team 305;

2nd Place – Miami-Dade Firefighters Local 1403/Ridge Rats, and

3rd Place – Cutler Bay Hot Sauce.

CHILI:

1st Place – Grillin’ & Chillin’ Crew;

2nd Place – Not Your Daddy’s Chili, and

3rd Place – Team 305.

Best Decorated Booth –Grillin’ & Chillin’ Crew;

People’s Choice Chili – Not Your Daddy’s Chili;

Best Firefighter Chili – Miami-Dade Firefighters Local 1403/Ridge Rats.

Anthony Goldberg’s team, the “Grillin’ & Chillin’ Crew,” took the first place awards in both the Chili and Cornbread categories and Best Decorated Booth. Goldberg’s sister, Marie, part of the team, was thrilled with their victory and said she thinks the event is a good one.

“We are excited and proud of the accomplishment of my brother,” Marie Goldberg said. “We’ve been in all four of the chili cook-offs. I think it’s a wonderful event; it gives the community time to all get together. We’ve grown up in the area, so when we go we see people that we’ve known practically our entire lives, that you may only get to see one or two times a year, at these events. It’s great for the kids because it has something for all of them to do. My brother looks forward to it every year, because cooking is his hobby.”

Jazmin Gonzalez of the “Not Your Daddy’s Chili” team had entered the competition for the very first time. She said that winning the People’s Choice Award meant a lot to her.

“I was extremely excited,” Gonzalez said. “I really wasn’t expecting it, but that’s the award that I wanted the most so I was very happy. I’ve been a bunch of times to the chili cook-off. I think I’ve gone every year and always had a good time.

“This year was a little bit different because we were competing, but it was a lot of fun and definitely worth it. On my team I had approximately 20 people. It was a really large group of us.”

The popular event is expected to return next year.

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