Friday, 26 January 2018 10:27

150 Gallons of Chili: Chefs Challenge This Weekend for a Good Cause

SCHUYLERVILLE – One thousand one-of-a-kind bowls have been crafted and five area chefs are busily comingling spices in preparation of Saturday’s 7th annual Chili Bowl at the Saratoga Clay Arts Center.

The five chefs, each of whom showcase their culinary talents at area restaurants, are making 30 gallons of chili each.

“That’s 150 gallons in total” says Jill Fishon-Kovachick, who founded Saratoga Clay Arts Center in 2011. What does 150 gallons of chili look like? “I have no idea,” she says, with a laugh, “but we’ll need it.”

The event has grown in popularity in each of its first six years and attracted approximately 700 people in 2017.  The cost of admission: $2, or the donation of two non-perishable food items. Samples of chili will be distributed at the event and a vote-for-the-best chili competition will be held. Defending champion Pat Brown of the Brook Tavern, will face competing chili chefs Jonathan Quinn of Osteria Danny, Dave Zuka of Ravenous Creperie, Michele Morris of Scallions and Brian Bowden of R&R Kitchen and bar.  

More than 1,000 one-of-a-kind hand-crafted chili bowls will be available for the event. The bowls usually retail for $25 to $100. For this event, organizers say: fill the bowl, eat the chili, and keep the bowl for $20. 

“We’ll also be raffling off one of my pieces,” says Fishon-Kovachick, a ceramic artist and collector who first began working with clay at the age of 11, after attending an educational summer camp at Buck's Rock Performing and Creative Arts Camp in Connecticut. 

A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit the Wilton Food Pantry, and To Life! The latter is a local organization that serves a 10-county area and tasked to educate the community about breast cancer detection, treatments and related health matters, and to provide support services to breast cancer patients, caregivers, family and friends.

The Wilton Food Pantry provides the equivalent of 30,000 meals annually. More than one-third of those served by the pantry on Ballard Road are children. The highest non-perishable food items on its list include: peanut butter, canned fruit, bottles of 100 percent fruit juice, juice boxes and canned tuna or salmon.

Advance registration, with specified reserve time slots, may be made online at saratogaclayarts.org. Those registering in advance may also select and pre-pay online for bowls and simply pick them up when attending the event. Last-minute walk-ins to the center are also welcome without pre-registration.

The event takes place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 27. Saratoga Clay Arts Center is located at 167 Hayes Road, Schuylerville. Robonics Reggae Band, known for their warm weather inspired rhythms and quirky steel-drum renditions of tunes like the theme from “The Godfather” and “Mission Impossible,” will provide live entertainment. 

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