MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The 2018 Maplewood Chili Cookoff raised over $6,000, which will go directly to the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges, according to a press release from Tom Mason, the event's founder and "Chili Chief."

Mason explained, "because of the generous support of the sponsors who funded the cookoff and the volunteers who gave their time to make it possible, all of the money spent on tickets and all of the bar profits went directly to The Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges. That's over $6,000 to buy nutritious food for the people in our community who need it most."

This is the second year for the Maplewood Chili Cookoff, which last year donated money raised from the event to Rent Party.

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The Chili Cookoff, which has been a sold-out event at The Woodland for two years, had over 300 attendees, who also served as judges, trying 33 different chilis in two categories, Meat and Vegetarian, with winners in each category chosen by popular vote.

The 2018 Maplewood Chili Cookoff winners are:

Meat Category: 
1st Place: Chetan Vijayvergiya (Chili #1)
2nd Place Jason Amado (Chili #7)
3rd Place: Brian Kelly (Chili #9)

Veggie Category: 
1st Place Tony Trombino (Chili E)
2nd Place Donna Ferrer (Chili F)
3rd Place Moosa Aziz (Chili D)

The first place winner's names will be added to the Chili Cookoff Trophy, a 35 pound, 100 year-old cast iron cauldron, which will then be on permanent display in the lobby of Maplewood Town Hall.

Mason thanked the three main sponsors who make the Chili Cookoff possible (Pollock Properties Group, Whole Foods, and BCB Community Bank), as well as additional sponsors (The Able Baker, Wine Barrel, Redglass Pictures, Great Believer, Photo Booth Studios, Martin's Pretzels, and the South Mountain YMCA) and the two bands who performed, Stillhouse Serenade and The Hometown Specials.

The cookoff is possible due to the collective efforts of volunteers, said Mason, and invites those who want to help with next year's event to email him at chilichief@maplewoodchilicookoff.com.

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