Chili Cook-Off Raises $1,310 For Franklin Township Food Bank

2015 Chili Cook-Off14

From left, state Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17), Charles Maria, Mayor Chris Kelly and Nancy LaCorte from the Franklin Township Food Bank.

Some of the township’s professional and amateur chili cooks squared off Feb. 20 for the Franklin Food Bank’s Chili Cook-Off.

Contestants were divided into two groups, restaurants and fire houses. Participants tasted samples from each of the contestants, and then voted – with red and white beans – for their favorites in each category.

When all the beans were counted, Sophie’s Bistro on Hamilton Street and Griggstown Farm tied for top honors in the restaurant category, while Charles Maria, the township’s fire inspector and a member of Somerset Fire & Rescue Station 56, Co. No. 1, won in the fire house category.

Maria said the winning chili was made with bacon short rib and ground beef, espresso powder and chocolate. Tasters were told to add chives and goat cheese to their taste.

Maria said he was also representing the New Jersey Firemen’s Benevolent Association Local 88.

The restaurant co-winners received ribbons, while Maria received a trophy, which will be inscribed with the firehouse’s name.

2015 Franklin Food Bank Chili Cook-Off



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