Downtown Ithaca's 19th annual Chili Cook-Off set for Feb. 11

Sponsored by Tompkins Trust Company, Downtown Ithaca’s 19th Annual Chili Cook-Off will be held Feb. 11,11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on The Ithaca Commons, 171 E. State St.

The Cook-Off features dozens of freshly made sweet, spicy, and/or tangy chili samples created by the some of the area’s best chefs, competing for coveted prizes (Best Meat/Overall Chili, Best Vegetarian, and People's Choice Chili awards). Meat, vegan and gluten-free options will be available.

Event visitors can help to name a chili People’s Choice champion by sampling chili throughout the day and voting for their favorite chili. Winners for the jury contest will be announced on the main stage at 3:45 p.m. and the People’s Choice honorees will be announced at a later day. 

Among the newcomers looking to win the Chili trophy is Monks on the Commons, Ithaca’s latest dining attraction located in the Marriott on The Commons, which will be serving a Southern-flavored short rib, pork and black bean chili with Life So Sweet Chocolate’s chocolate-dipped pork belly.

Another rookie competitor, local catering company Bickering Twins, will serve braised beef with black beans and vegetable chili, while a third newcomer Lucky Hare Chili, a Hector N.Y. based craft beer brewery, will offer its signature Beer Chili. Additional first-time Cook-Off contestants are Due Amici Ristorante, downtown’s newest Mediterranean restaurant; Ithaca Soy/Pure Food Mind and Body, a local catering company; Mix Tapas Kitchen and Bar; and community groups C.A.S.H, Ithaca Elks Lodge 636 and Cornell University’s Chi Phi Fraternity.

Also participating: Moosewood Restaurant, Mahogany Grill, Luna Inspired Street Food, Collegetown Bagel, Ithaca Bakery, Bandwagon Brewery, Just a Taste Wine and Tapas Bar, Gateway Kitchen, Viva Taqueria & Cantina, Coltivare Culinary Center, Kilpatrick’s Publick House, Agava Restaurant, The Center Cafe, D.P. Dough, Greenstar, Rulloff’s Restaurant, Ithaca Beer Co., Cayuga Medical Center, Statler Hotel and Franziska Racker Centers.

Grist Iron Brewing, the Finger Lakes Region’s newest craft brewery and restaurant pub, and Rooster First Brewing, a Watkins Glen-based brewery, are among the list of eight beverage establishments that will provide beverage tastings throughout the event.

Presale tickets are available starting Feb. 1 at the Downtown Visitors Center (171 E. State St.), at two Collegetown Bagels locations (203 N. Aurora St., and 415 College Ave.).Reserve tickets with credit card by calling the Downtown Ithaca Alliance at 607-277-8679 or purchase tickets on the day of the event at the event (cash only.) Tickets are $5 for five tastes of wine, beer, and food, or $10 for 11 tastes. VIP tickets give you access to a separate, fast-moving line for tastes, at 10 Tastes for $20 and 22 Tastes for $40.

For more information: or call 607-277-8679.