The 2nd Annual New York City Chili Cook Off was held last weekend, on Saturday April 16th and we were there! Yes, Team Gad Zukes was there with full gear and we were cookin’ up a storm!
The setting for the cook off was the beautiful, park like grounds of Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island. This place is a living history museum, and was a great setting for such a fun event. I would like to visit there sometime when I am not stirring multiple pots of chili! (see the link at the end for more info)
In preparation we had the Tango Wagon loaded and ready to go with everything but the meat on the day before. Friday was a glorious day, the early spring sun was shining and the temps were on the warm-ish side. Great day for getting loaded, or at least getting the car loaded.
Then Saturday morning arrived and it was time to drive the 80+ miles to ‘The Event’. The gray skies were really of no concern, as the weather report was for thickening clouds and maybe some afternoon showers. The drive in was uneventful and we made it onsite with good time to set up and get ready. As we set up the tent, the breezes pick up a little, but not to worry, we had some heavy weights to hold the tent, just in case.
The morning’s cooks meeting was presided over by Steve and Audrey Falkowski and took place in the Judge’s Chambers in the original Courthouse Building. The meeting was punctuated with a few ‘taps’ on the bench by the largest gavel I have ever seen! Looks like Steve could get used to that gavel.
Well, as the morning progressed and the stoves heated up the temperatures started to plummet. The chill in the air would not have been too bad if it was not for the wind, which did succeed in taking one competitor’s tent away like Dorothy’s farmhouse. Now the chill and wind would not have been too bad if it were not for the rain. Yup, the rain started to fall a little bit after noon.
What you might have expected to happen did not happen. The crowds thickened up and the spirits of both the spectators and the cooks never dampened. That is the magic of chili! Chili cooked outside, no matter what good old Mother Nature throws at us.
At our booth we enjoyed meeting a large crowd of very nice and very hungry folks. Everyone dressed in their finest spring outfits, which this day meant coats, gloves, umbrellas and smiles. It was great to hear people say they really enjoyed our ‘People’s Choice’ chili, some even coming back for seconds even though there were plenty of folks dishing out great chili. It was cool that some folks even recognized us as not only being Team Gad Zukes chili team but also as The Spice Guy from Tango Spice Company. We had been there last year with a booth peddling our line of spice rubs.
At the end of the day, after the crowds had enjoyed gallons of hot chili on a cold day we all headed back to the Judges Chambers for the verdicts. Very appropriate indeed.
Congratulations to all the winners, who are listed below. This was a great event, very fun and in a very cool location. Team Gad Zukes will be there again next year for sure.
As for our next moves, Tango Spice will be once again presenting our line of spice rubs out in public at the 81 Thunder Chili Cook Off on May 1st in Bohemia, NY. After that, Team Gad Zukes will be heating up the stoves in Somers. CT at the New England Regional Chili Cook Off!
Come on by and say hello!
The Winners Are!
1 - Jim Parker
2 - Judith Omerza
3 - Daniel Gentile
4 - Robert Burmeister
1 - Robert Burmeister
2 - Rich Omerza
3 - Monica Parker
1 - Robert Burmeister
2 - Judith Omerza
3 - James W. Heywood
For more information on Historic Richmond Town:
Robert Burmeister Having A Great Time!
The Hungry Crowd!
Everyone Enjoying Chili On A Chilly Day!
Chili Without Beer? No Way!
Is That A Bowl Of Chili?
Robert Burmeister Was A Big Winner!
Judith Omerza Made Two Trips To The Winner's Circle
Top Chefs Of The Day!
Jim Parker - Red Chili Winner!