Competition hot at Chill Out

Arts & Entertainment Community Featured

New Glasgow Farmer’s Market was the place to be on Saturday — a place to chill out and Chill Out.

Not only was the market open and packed with vendors, but the fifth annual Chill Out was held which offered something for everyone.

Aside from the marshmallow roasting pit, local entertainment and the kids activity area, the biggest draw was the Sobeys Chili Competition.

Chili was offered for tasting in five categories this year: Local Chefs, Fire Fighters, Schools, Home Cooks and Media, in which all three entries were brand new.

“We were extremely pleased with the crowd at Chill Out,” said Paula Irving, Program, Culture and Events manager for the Town of New Glasgow.

“Numbers were definitely up over last year’s, and based on the supplies used and when the participants started to run out of chili, I would say that we had over 3,000 people through the event on Saturday.”

First-time competitor Alex Theriault of Z97.9 radio station won in the Media category. “It’s always been one of my favourite events to attend each year and the turnout is so amazing – to have everyone come together as a community and try these amazing chilis … it just gives you such a warm feeling about the community. I’m so excited to see this grow year after year,” he said.

The recipe, Theriault said, is his tried-and-true hockey/football chili. “Secret ingredient: A lot of love.”

Fellow competitors were also first-timers: Heather Brimicombe representing The Advocate and Brendan Ahearn from The News. The event marked only the second time Brimicombe ever made chili, she admitted.

“It’s super fun,” she smiled. “There’s a lot of people here.”

Ahearn also had a lot of fun. “People seem to be enjoying it and I’m just enjoying seeing people’s happy faces.”

Both Brimicombe and Ahearn were happy to share their secret ingredients: Bacon and jalapenos for Brimicombe and a chili hot sauce incorporated into the cooking technique with onion, garlic and pepper for Ahearn.

The market was also packed to capacity throughout opening hours with a variety of vendors including several news ones.

“The MIX 94.1 Snowman Zone was very busy inside the Dome with kids being creative in building their snowman with craft supplies and the music by Albert Dunnewold and Scott MacFarlane was excellent and enjoyed by all. The Marshmallow Roasting station was very busy this year when kids and adults were able to roast their marshmallow and enjoy and s’mores as a morning snack. Many people enjoyed the ‘fit pit’ outside as a place to get warm while chatting with other attendees.”

Alex Theriault, left, of Z97.9 radio station serves up some of his first-place winning chili during the Chill out event Saturday at the New Glasgow Farmers Market.

INSET: Advocate reporter Heather Brimicombe served up a delicious pot of chili that had bacon and jalapenos as her secret ingredients.   (Jardine photos)