BRIDGEWATER, NJ - It's time to put up or shut up.
The Somerville Elks Lodge #1068 Motorcycle Committee is looking for the best chili and best chowder in central New Jersey, and is inviting chefs to bring two gallons of their best recipe to the lodge,375 Union Ave., on Sunday, Feb. 26.
Chafing dishes will be provided.
There are four categories:
1. Traditional chili;
2. Unique chili;
3. Red chowder;
4. White chowder.
Contestants should arrive by 10:30 a.m. for set-up; judging begins at 11:30 a.m. The main event begins at noon.
Tickets are $15, which includes the tasting and one vote. Contestants pay $20.
There will be one grand prize, a $200 gift certificate and 3 additional gift card winners selected from the other categories.
The Elks will also host a raffle and Tricky Tray during the cook-off.
The 4th annual Chill and Chowder Cookoff for Charity is one of several charity events held by the Elks motorcyclists during the year.
All net proceeds will be dedicated to local veterans causes, according to Phil Decker, president of the Motorcycle Committee.
"In June, we will be running our 2nd Annual Poker Run for Ben to help a young boy and his family who have been dealing with chronic medical conditions from birth," Decker said. "Last year we raised a few thousand and hope to grow on that in 2017."
The committee also participated in the annual Santa Toy Run organized by another motorcycle club, which collected toys and delivered them by bike to the Somerset County Food Bank.
The slogan of the Somerville Elks Motorcycle Committee is “We ride for Charity” while supporting the philosophy of the Elks organization, according to Decker.
"Motorcyclists as a group are among the most giving people," Decker said. "Although riding is enjoyable in itself, there is nothing in the world better than coupling that with helping kids, families, and vets."
Further information is available by calling Decker at (908) 625-1899 or Addie Pelican at (908) 334-6120.