Town’s Chili Cook-off draws record crowd

Cutler Bay’s 14th annual Chili Cook-off, which took place on Saturday, Jan. 20, at Cutler Ridge Park, has been one of the town’s most popular events, but it attracted an even larger-than-expected crowd this year, according to Rod Gibson, town communications manager.

“We calculate we had more than 6,000 attendees, making it the biggest event to date,” Gibson said.

Taking place from 2 to 6 p.m. in good weather, the event featured a cooking competition and free chili, salsa and cornbread samples, food trucks where other food items could be purchased, live music by hometown band Cutler Stew, plus a “kids zone” with face painters, inflatables, a video game bus and a balloon artist.

Besides residents, the event was attended by the entire Cutler Bay Council, U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar; Miami-Dade District 9 Commissioner Kionne McGhee; State Rep. Alina Garcia; Juan Fernandez-Barquin, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller for Miami-Dade County, and Miami-Dade County School Board District 9 member Luisa Santos.

“The Chili Cook-Off has truly become a cornerstone of our community,” Mayor Tim Meerbott said. “The record-breaking attendance reflects the spirit of unity that defines Cutler Bay.

I’m proud to see our town come together in such a lively way and showcase the best of our local talent.”

Rep. Salazar was pleased with the event.

“I want to thank Mayor Meerbott, town manager Casals, the town council, and all the staff for throwing a great event,” Rep. Salazar said. “A big congrats to the winners of the Cutler Bay Chili Cook-Off.”

Chili Cook-Off top finishers:

Restaurant Division
Best Chili: Rodbenders Raw Bar & Grill
Best Salsa: Rodbenders Raw Bar & Grill

Best Decorated Booth:
Closings and Cornbread

Corn Bread:
1st Place, Closings and Cornbread
2nd Place, Flava Unit
3rd Place, O2

1st Place, Chef Big Ern
2nd Place, The Jerks
3rd Place, O2

1st Place, Mindy’s Firehouse Chili
2nd Place, Sunseeker
3rd Place, Monster Grass Chain Saw Chili

Fire House Chili:
Hialeah Fire Department Local 1102

People’s Choice:
1st Place Chili, Hialeah Fire Department Local 1102
2nd Place Chili, Los Furias
1st Place Salsa, Ridge Rats Cutler Bay Firehouse 34
2nd Place Salsa, Comfy Homes




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