WESTFIELD- The 10th Annual Greater Westfield YMCA Chili, Chowder, and Chocolate Cookoff drew hundreds of people to the YMCA gymnasium over the weekend to sample and vote for which organizations had the best cooks.
Seventeen participants took part in the event this year to benefit the Livestrong Program at the YMCA, a free 12-week exercise program designed for cancer survivors who are trying to get healthy again.
“People come and want to support this endeavor because whether directly or indirectly, we know of someone whose life has been affected by cancer,” YMCA Health and Wellness Director Cindy Agan said ahead of the event
Each person that came to the event could spend $10 to have small bowls of chili and chowder as well as pieces of chocolate. Each ticket for the event also came with a ballot. Participating organizations include the Westfield Police Department, the Westfield Kiwanis Club, Mama Cakes, Westfield State University, and the returning chili champions of the Westfield Fire Department.
“It truly is a great reflection of the community coming together and supporting each other. With all of your hard work and support we raised over $3,000 for our cancer survivors,” said Agan following the event.
For the chocolate category, G.I.L.T.E. Phyl’s took third place with 44 votes for their chambord cupcake. Mama Cakes came in second with 64 votes for their Peanut Butter cupcake. Taking the annual chocolate-making crown this year was the Kiwanis Club of Westfield with 81 votes for their “Kiwanis Amazing Truffles.”
There were five total entries for chowder, all with completely different styles of the heavy New England dish. In third place came Rude Eye BBQ earning 64 votes for their corned beef BBQ chowder. That Mother Smokin’ BBQ came in second, earning 76 votes with their cheeseburger chowder. The winner for this year’s chowder category was the Greater Westfield Boys and Girls Club with a total of 81 votes.
Finally, in the chili category, Westfield State University Dining took third place with 57 votes for a sweet potato chorizo chili. The reigning champions in the Westfield Fire Department fell to second place this year with their famous spicy Firehouse chili. Instead, the winners were a collaboration between the Westfield Police Department and the Westfield Senior Center. Their chili, the Chili on Patrol (COP) was made to be sweet and had the unusual but delicious addition of a piece of homemade cornbread. They received 72 votes for the win.
In addition to the cookoff itself, the event had both a prize raffle and a 50/50 raffle, which raised $205 after the winner received their half of the raffle money.