Jan. 8 forecast calls for a Chili Day in Cutler Bay

By Lee Stephens….

In this photo from 2009 then Vice Mayor Ed MacDougall dishes out chili.

As far as we know, there’s no snow in the forecast for Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 in south Miami-Dade County, but the Town of Cutler Bay is guaranteeing a big Chili Day that date for residents and visitors.

The town’s second annual Chili Day in Cutler Bay will be a fun-filled day for the serious and not-so-serious chili chefs out there. The talk about who makes the best chili ended at last year’s inaugural event. When the chili powder settled, a new “Chili Slinger” was crowned.

It’s time, once again, for residents, businesses and community groups to put their cooking prowess to the test. There also will be a new “spark” (no pun intended) added to this year’s event, as various fire departments are pitted against each other for bragging rights as to who has the best firehouse chefs.

Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded by a panel of judges for first, second and third place in three categories — Chili, Salsa, and Corn Bread. There also will be cash prizes awarded for the bestdecorated booth and a “People’s Choice” award for the fan’s favorite chili.

Several of Cutler Bay’s Town Council members are looking forward to getting in on the fun.

“It will be a hot time in the town on Jan. 8,” proclaimed newly elected Mayor Ed MacDougall. “This will be our second annual Chili Day event, so bring your family and bring your best chili recipe and all the ‘fixin’s’ for a great day at your Cutler Ridge Park.”

Mayor MacDougall, who entered the non-competitive category last year, issued the following challenge: “I bet my chili can beat up your chili.” Councilmember Peggy Bell promised to make her “hot hot hot” chili.

“We had a wonderful turnout last year,” she said. “Our Parks Department does a great job with this event. I am looking forward to trying all the great food. It better be really chilly outside because my chili is hot!”

Cutler Bay Recreation coordinator Fred Bobson points out that the event is open to all ages and tastebuds, and that you don’t have to be a competitive chili chef to enjoy the day. There will be no charge for chili sampling, and for those who do not eat chili, other foods and drinks will be available for purchase. There also will be live music and children’s activities throughout the day.

The town’s Second Annual Chili Day in Cutler Bay is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Cutler Ridge Park, 10100 SW 200 St. For more information on the event or to register as a chef, contact Fred Bobson at 305-238-4166.

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