photo by Jess Bunger
Chili lovers from contemporary, country and commercial kitchens came out for the 2nd Annual Niantic Congregational Church (NCC) Chili Cook-Off. This year’s event reflected a 52 percent increase from last year’s attendance and competitors included home cooks as well as representation from local restaurants. Offerings included seafood, vegan and vegetarian chilis and more traditional turkey and beef variations.
Fifteen chilis were entered in the competition with names like Dad’s Chunky Chili, Cheese Head Chili and Autumn Brew, but it was “Woody’s Smokey Tex-Mex Chili,” made by Craig Woody that swept first place for the second year in a row. CJ Leindecker, East Lyme, took second place with, “CJ Good for You Chili” which he explains is good for you because, “it was made with love.” Third place winner was Jan Larson, Niantic, with her, “Cowboy Chili.”
Proceeds from the event, organized by the Parish Life Committee, went to the NCC Accessibility Fund to make the church’s environment more accessible to those with disabilities.