Braddock Carnegie Chili Cook-off Serves Up Good Time

It's a friendly competition as Lauren Smith clowns around with Bob Portogallo from Peppers N'At in Braddock.

It’s a friendly competition as Lauren Smith from Aunt Cheryl’s Cafe clowns around with Bob Portogallo from Peppers N’At. Both restaurants are in Braddock.

Tasty chili, cold beer, DJs and live music all added up to a lively 10th annual Chili Cook-off fundraiser for the Braddock Carnegie Library. A nice mix of Library patrons, Braddock residents and non-residents all mingled together for the fun event. Many different types of chili were presented by about 15 restaurant and home chili cooks. Attendees were given a form to vote for their favorite chili.

Entries included Pittsburgh chili, which had chunks of kielbasa (second place winner by Dave Miriello); Cajun chili, with sausage, Cajun spices and a slightly sweet taste; Good Ole Chili, a very good traditional chili; and a white bean chicken chili with no tomatoes (the overall winner by Jona Reyes). Not into meat? There were several innovative vegan chilis too, including one made with chick peas. Several meat and vegan chilis even featured chocolate as an ingredient—one of which, The James Henry Chili by Steve LaRosa, garnered the third place prize, and was served with cornbread.

A big table held shredded cheese, sour cream, and different focaccia style breads. Beer from Braddock’s Brew Gentlemen, lemonade, and water helped cleanse the palate between chili tastings.

Braddock Carnegie Library Executive Director Vicki Vargo said, “This event started as a fundraiser for programs in the Bathhouse Ceramics Studio. As the Library and its programs evolved over the years based on community input and needs, the event now supports all programs offered by the Library. We were overwhelmed to see the response this year. It was heartwarming to see so many of our patrons, neighbors, businesses, and organizations here in support of the Braddock Carnegie Library!”

If you missed the event, you can always stop by for a visit at the Braddock Carnegie Library. They have many interesting activities and events. National Library Week is April 9-15. The Library is open Monday through Saturday.








Photos: Rick Handler

Rick Handler is the executive producer of Entertainment Central and enjoys good chili.


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