Competition at Spooktacular Chili Challenge in Simsbury heats up

The Simsbury Spooktacular Chili Challenge is back on Oct. 20 at Simsbury Meadows, With chili, treats, tricks, music and more.

SIMSBURY — The 5th annual Simsbury Spooktacular Chili Challenge, on Sunday, Oct. 20 is quickly becoming bigger and hotter every day. More than 15 registered amateur chefs will try to please the picky palates of the newly announced panel of 16 judges.

“We have some very notable judges signed up, including Ray Dunaway of WTIC AM, Taylor Kinsler from NBC CT, and, chef Chris Prosperi, from the award-winning Metro Bis restaurant,” declared Lisa Gray, executive director of the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce.

Gray notes registration for cooks is still open and encourages aspiring chefs to email to register.

The roster of top local restaurants throwing their ladles into the highly competitive Restaurant Chili Challenge continues to grow. They are vying for the coveted BDC, “Best Darn Chili”, title and a Chili Bowl trophy. Local chef and restaurateur James Chen is returning to defend his title, along with Abigail’s Grille & Wine Bar, Andy’s Italian Kitchen, Benny’s of Simsbury, Freshies/Fabiola’s, Grindstone Tavern, Iron Horse Sports Pub, La Figata, Market Place Kitchen, Plan B, Hop Meadow Country Club, The North House, McLadden’s Simsbury, MIllwright’s, Soma Grille, and The Simsbury Inn.

There’s also still time for businesses and organizations to support this popular regional family event as sponsors. Join sponsors Anthology Senior Living, Full Power Radio, Hassett & George, Liberty Bank, and People’s United Bank and reap the marketing benefits of sponsorship.

Over 60 vendors such as Healthtrax, Huntington Learning Center, and Massage Envy will be onsite for shopping and handing out Halloween goodies to trick-or-treaters, and vendor opportunities are available for just $160.

The Chili Challenge will take place at Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center, 22 Iron Horse Blvd., Simsbury, from noon to 5 p.m. The restaurant challenge runs from 2 to 5 p.m. The amateur competition is a fully-sanctioned International Chili Society cook-off and is designed to appeal to the whole family. Along with the cooks, there will be local vendors, live entertainment, activities, a beer garden, wine, and hard cider. Kids can look forward to trick-or-treating, costume contests, clowns, a touch-a-truck exhibit, bounce house, ropes course, and more. Non-chili food items will be available for sale. In fact, for the first time this year, the always-popular Cousins Maine Lobster Truck will be on site.

Interested cooks can sign up to compete on the ICS website, or by calling Simsbury Chamber of Commerce, (860) 651-7307

Tickets are $10 in advance for age 11 and up. Children 10 and under are FREE. Tickets can be purchased on the event website,, or by calling (860) 651-7307.

Connecticut Media Group