Cook Off Kicks Off St. Pat’s Celebration

February 28, 2017
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As in years past, members of the public can sample the entries from amateur and professional chefs and vote for their favorites during the Highlands Business Partnership’s 5th Annual Chili Cook Off.

HIGHLANDS – It may not immediately remind you of the Wearing of the Green, but the Highlands Chili Cook Off this weekend is meant to whet the appetite for the upcoming 15th Annual Highlands St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

And it’s anyone’s guess what kind of chili will be entered in the cook-off this year, but if recipes from years past are any indication, it’s a good bet they will be interesting.

Last year’s entries included a Bloody Mary chili concocted by the Chubby Pickle, a Guinness beef and bean chili made by the Claddagh Irish Pub, green poblano and raisin chili from Chilango’s and seafood chili courtesy of Bahr’s Landing. The Inlet Café came up with a ghost pepper-kissed short rib and white bean chili finished with imported chocolate.

“It’s not your basic beef and bean chili,” said Diane Gunter, business advocate for the Highlands Business Partnership. “There are definitely some interesting recipes. They always try to kick it up a notch.”

Those who want to sample this year’s entries can do so at the Highlands Business Partnership’s 5th Annual Chili Cook Off from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. The event will take place at Claddagh Irish Pub, located at 297 Bay Ave.

As always, there will be a winner in the professional category, with all entries from Highlands restaurants, and another in the amateur contest. There will also be a Judges Choice Award in each category.

Rep. Frank Pallone from the 6th Congressional District tasted some of the entries in last year’s Chili Cook Off at the Highlands Business Partnership St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser.
By Mary Ann Bourbeau

Those who attend will have the opportunity to sample each chili recipe and vote for their favorite by dropping a ballot in a ballot box. Winners in the professional and amateur categories will receive a trophy, but more importantly, they will have bragging rights until next year’s event.

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Each ticket includes chili tastings, two beer tickets, snacks and a ballot. The day includes enter tainment by the Richmond County Pipes and Drums and Irish step dancers from the Jig Factory – Daly Irish Dance School in Atlantic Highlands.

Tickets are $30 each, or $25 each for two or more, and are tax deductible. Proceeds benefit the 15th Annual Highlands St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will be held at 2 p.m. March 18, kicking off at Huddy Park.

“The chili cook-off gets people geared up for the parade,”

Gunter said. “The parade is always ver y well attended. Whether you’re from true Irish descent or just like to join in the spirit, ever yone has a good time.”

For more information, call 732-291-4713, email hbp@high- landsnj.com or visit www.highlandsnj.com.

Arts and entertainment writer Mary Ann Bourbeau can be reached at mbourbeau@tworivertimes.com.


This article was first published in the Feb. 23-March 2, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.

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