Chili competition benefits local families in need

Chili competition benefits local families in need

OCPHC’s 14th annual fundraiser set for Sunday at Greene Turtle in WOC

LISA CAPITELLI ¦ Assistant Editor


Mother’s Cantina took top honors for the third consecutive year during the Ocean City Parrothead Club’s 13th annual Hots for Tots Chili Cookoff last year at the West Ocean City Greene Turtle. Mother’s Cantina owners Ryan and Neely James dished out their award-winning “Chili con Café.” Mother’s Cantina took top honors for the third consecutive year during the Ocean City Parrothead Club’s 13th annual Hots for Tots Chili Cookoff last year at the West Ocean City Greene Turtle. Mother’s Cantina owners Ryan and Neely James dished out their award-winning “Chili con Café.”(Nov. 30, 2012) Chefs representing resort restaurants and those from the surrounding areas have been fine-tuning their chili recipes in preparation for the Ocean City Parrothead Club’s 14th annual “Hots for Tots” Chili Cookoff, a fundraiser to benefit local families in need this holiday season.

Their special concoctions, which range from mild to spicy hot and everything in between, will be featured this Sunday at the West Ocean City Greene Turtle, located on Route 611. The event runs from 1-4 p.m.

“It’s one of Ocean City’s favorite winter pastimes, where all the locals go on the first Sunday in December. We watch football, eat chili and [it’s] all for a great cause,” said Ocean City Parrothead Club President India Bandorick.


Ed Boswell, center, representing The Woodlands of Ocean Pines, made his special “Big Ed’s Chili” for the competition. Boswell, who won third place for his chili last year, is joined by his brother, John, and Carole Friedburg, manager of the independent living condominium community. Ed Boswell, center, representing The Woodlands of Ocean Pines, made his special “Big Ed’s Chili” for the competition. Boswell, who won third place for his chili last year, is joined by his brother, John, and Carole Friedburg, manager of the independent living condominium community.Guests will have the opportunity to sample each chili recipe, and everyone who attends the 2012 Cookoff will receive a ballot to vote for his or her favorite.

Most of the chili served will be made with beef, although there have been a variety of seafood, chicken and even venison blends in the past.

More than 475 people attended the 2011 event. When the ballots were counted in the highly competitive race, Mother’s Cantina took top honors among the 13 competitors, for its popular “Chili Con Café.” It was the third consecutive year the 28th restaurant won the title.

Mother’s Cantina owners Ryan and Neely James dished out their award-winning chili — the same chili served at their establishment. The couple will again present their blend during the 2012 competition.

“It’s hard to believe I’ve been making this same recipe every day in the restaurant for five years. We’ve been serving our chili at the restaurant since our first try at the cookoff and it’s been a must-have local dish since,” Neely James said. “Regarding the cookoff, my husband, Ryan, says, ‘It’s all about participating in local fundraising and giving back, and it’s always great exposure for the restaurant.’

“In addition to truly wanting to help the community, I’m also pretty competitive,” she said. “We would love to win the best chili title again this year. Every year the competition brings more of our regular patrons out to participate in the event, so hopefully this year will be a win-win for us and for the Parrotheads.”

Harborside Bar & Grill in West Ocean City earned second-place honors with its “Cheesesteak Chili” last year, and The Woodlands of Ocean Pines took third place with “Big Ed’s Chili.”

The Greene Turtle West captured the “Best of Show” award for the crowd favorite chili station decor. Don Pielerit and Mollie Wyatt donned caveman/woman attire while serving the restaurant’s chili.

Restaurants registered as of Tuesday to compete in the 2012 competition are Mother’s Cantina, Oasis Bar & Grill, Greene Turtle West, Liquid Assets, Seaside Deli, The Globe, Station 7, The Woodlands of Ocean Pines, Tern’s Grille, Buxy’s Salty Dog Saloon, Coins and Harborside.

Admission to the Cookoff is a $10 donation or a new, unwrapped toy for the Ocean City Police Department’s annual toy drive. Monetary donations will also benefit families adopted by the OCPHC through Worcester County G.O.L.D. (Giving Other Lives Dignity), a countywide program that works to improve lives of people throughout the community.

More than $2,600 was raised during the 2011 competition and approximately 325 toys were collected.

The Parrothead Club adopted nine families, consisting of 29 children and 10 adults, for Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. For 2012, the club has adopted 10 families (25 children, 12 adults), according to Bob Gilmore, a member of the OCPHC. One family lives in Bishopville and one resides in Ocean City. Three are from Berlin and five live in Snow Hill.

For more information about the Chili Cookoff, call 410-213-1500 or e-mailocphc@comcast.net. Additional parking for the event will be available across the street in the mini storage parking lot.

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