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Wednesday, October 28, 2015


A chili and chowder cookoff planned for 1-4 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Second Presbyterian Church on Van Buren Street aims to raise funds for the annual Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive.

The cookoff, now in its third year -- kind of -- is expected to be bigger than in years past -- in part because organizers are reaching out to area restaurants, specifically inviting them to participate. Cream & Sugar Cafe and Lock 34 have already signed on for the fundraiser. Several other restaurants are expected to join them.

Previously, what was a chili-only cookoff, was primarily for amateur cooks as just something to do -- and maybe a reason for PB&J organizer Pete Robinson to eat chili. Non-professionals are still encouraged to enter the competition, and will have their own categories and their own prizes.

Pros and non-pros alike will each compete in "best chili" and "best chowder" categories as judged by tasters provided by East Niagara Post, sponsors of the re-branded cookoff. There is no monetary contest fee for entrants. The cost of competing is five quarts of whatever is being entered -- whether it's chili, chowder or both. It is open to anyone who wishes to enter.

The chili and chowder will be sold for just $1 per cup and 100 percent of the funds will be donated to A Hand Up, Inc., the non-profit organization that oversees the annual PB&J Drive. Alternately, a cup of chili or chowder can be "bought" for a jar or peanut butter, jelly, or fluff.

In addition to chili and chowder, baked goods will be available -- and donations of baked goods are being sought.

For more information or to participate, contact +Scott Leffler at or 795-2727.

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