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‘Hots for Tots’ Chili Cookoff Sunday at Greene Turtle West

(Dec. 6, 2013) Chefs from area restaurants have been perfecting their recipes to vie for top honors at the Ocean City Parrothead Club’s 15th annual “Hots for Tots” Chili Cookoff this Sunday at the Greene Turtle in West Ocean City.

Kelli Duffy, left, and Amber Lynch serve Station 7 Restaurant’s, “Firehouse Chili” Dec. 2 during the Ocean City Parrothead Club’s 14th annual Hots for Tots Chili Cookoff last year. Station 7 took top honors. (Lisa Capitelli | Ocean City Today)

The cook-off doubles as a toy drive for the Ocean City Police Department and the Santa House and raises funds for Worcester G.O.L.D. (Giving Other Lives Dignity), a nonprofit helping children and vulnerable adults and families this holiday season.

“It’s a great day to party with a purpose,” OCPHC President India Bandorick said in a release. “We anticipate hundreds of patrons throughout the day and over 25 different chili entries.”

Chefs will dish up samples of chilies ranging from hot to mild in the audience-judged competition. Attendees vote on their favorite recipe to determine which restaurant will take home the top prize.

There will also be a 50/50 raffle, drink specials and football games to watch during the event.

Last year, more than 500 came out to Hots for Tots, raising more than $2,500 for Worcester G.O.L.D., Bandorick said.

The Parrothead Club “adopted” 10 families — 25 children and 12 adults — for Thanksgiving and Christmas, said OCPHC member Bob Gilmore.

“Over the past 10 years, working with Worcester G.O.L.D., our Parrothead Club has adopted hundreds of children and adults throughout Worcester County,” he said.

This year, the club has adopted seven families consisting of 24 children and nine adults. One family is in Snow Hill and six live in Pocomoke.

The 2012 Hots for Tots event also brought in one and a half police vans-worth of donated toys for the Ocean City Police Department’s toy drive, Bandorick said.

“It was a great day, especially for… the Ocean City Police Department and for Worcester G.O.L.D. and their families in need,” she said after the cook-off.

Station 7 Restaurant on Route 707 in West Ocean City took home top honors last year for its “Firehouse Chili,” the same blend that took first place in the contest in 2008. The restaurant will be back this year to defend its title.

Also returning is the Ocean City Greene Turtle, which won 2012’s “Best of Show,” an award given to the serving station with the crowd’s favorite décor. Don Pielert and Mollie Wyatt donned Alice in Wonderland-themed attire while dishing out the restaurant’s “Mad Hatter’s Brew.”

Mother’s Cantina, the West Ocean City Greene Turtle, Blue Ox and Harborside Grille are also on this year’s list, with more entries expected to pour in closer to the date, Bandorick said.

The cost of admission to the 2013 Hots for Tots Chili Cookoff is $10 or a new, unwrapped children’s toy. Proceeds go to Worcester G.O.L.D. and all toys will go to the police department to be donated to the Santa House.

The Hots for Tots cook-off runs from 1-4 p.m. this Sunday, Dec. 8, at the West Ocean City Greene Turtle on Route 611.

For more information on the event, visit www.ocphc.com and click on the Chili Cookoff link, call 410-213-1500 or email ocphc@comcast.net.

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