The Town of Cutler Bay’s third annual Chili Day on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Cutler Ridge Park brought out a large number of residents to taste-test the entries in the cooking competition, enjoy the music and the camaraderie of a community get-together.
Alan Ricke, the town’s Parks and Recreation director, was pleased by the event’s third outing and the crowd it drew.
“We had a real good turnout,” Ricke said. “It’s bigger every year. The weather was fantastic. We estimate about 750 people attended. We had 14 competing in the open division and five in the firefighters division.”
There was a separate division for the firefighters to “stir up” a bit of rivalry among the different firefighter groups since all the firefighters think they have the best chef, according to Ricke.
The 2012 Chili Day winners were announced in the following categories, with “Chili Pot” trophies awarded:
Chili: First place, Cipriano’s; second, Grillin’ & Chillin’ Crew, and third, T. & W. Substantial.
Salsa: First, Grillin’ & Chillin’ Crew; second, Cipriano’s, and third, Nacho Mama’s Salsa.
Corn Bread: First, Miami-Dade Fire Department Station #34; second, Country Bliss Cornbread, and third, Metro Dade Fire Fighters Local 1403.
Best Decorated Booth Award: Junk in the Trunk.
People’s Choice Award – Fan Favorite Chili: The Pink Pig.
Fi re Department Chili Division: Frist, Key Largo Fire Department; second, Metro Dade Fire Fighters Local 1403, and third, Miami-Dade Fire Department Station # 34.
Councilmember Peggy Bell was impressed with the event as well.
“It was another chili day in Cutler Bay,” Bell said. “The third annual chili contest, organized by Fred Bobson of Cutler Bay’s Parks Department, was again a huge success. Under beautiful sunny skies hundreds of people tasted chili samples from entrants, including restaurants, firefighters, and even my own ‘Bell Boys,’ some of the best chili I’ve ever tasted.
“They came from all over, including the Key Largo firehouse, which won in their category. Great music, incredible food, beautiful weather, and seeing friends — who could ask for more?”
Mayor Ed MacDougall said he appreciated the efforts put forth by the participants and by the town staffers who helped make it happen.
“What a great day in Cutler Bay,” MacDougall said. “Our chili cook-off was a bigger success this year than last year. Next year should be equally good or even better than this year. Congratulations to the winners and to all those who enjoyed the day. A special thanks to our parks director, Alan Ricke, for a job well done.”