It’s that time of the year for the highly attended, highly competitive Skip’s Restaurant’s 10th Annual Harbor Country Harvest Days Chili Cook-Off on Sunday, Oct. 9, which takes place under the big tent at Red Arrow Highway and Lakeshore Road, New Buffalo (Skip’s parking lot).
Oct. 9 also is the last day of the 2016 season for Skip’s European Farmers Market New Buffalo, which runs in tandem with the cook-off.
This annual event thus far has featured 110 contestants with 110 different types and flavors of chili, created by both restaurant chefs and the general public. And a chef has not always been the champion. Speaking of champions, this year’s 10th Annual Chili Cook-Off will feature all former Skip’s Chili Cook-Off champions, who are expected to up their chili game, vying for both the Judges Award and the People’s Choice Award. Visitors to this event can expect hot and spicy, sweet and smoky, vegetarian and traditional chili recipes.
Skip’s Chili Cook-Off was created 10 years ago as an event to the Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce’s Harvest Days celebration, noted Skip’s Restaurant partner, Rhonda Sobecki. The first year’s champion was the architectural firm that designed Four Winds Casino., she said.
Skip’s annual chili cook-off, although created as a Chamber event, was actually the catalyst for the creation of Skip’s European Farmers Market, now in its eighth season. Aware that the property could accommodate such a large event as our chili cook-off, actually gave the idea to locate the farmers market at the same site. Skip's market is now a destination spot for the thousands of people who visit and live in Harbor Country and beyond.
“Our market also sees a lot of Harbor Country restaurant chefs, who take advantage of the opportunity to feature locally grown fresh produce, eggs, fruits, honey, meats, breads and cheeses on their menus,” Sobecki said.
Skip’s Farmers Market will open at 9 a.m. Oct. 9 and the chili cook-off begins at 1 p.m. Both events will end at 5 p.m. The Generation Gap Band will provide the crowd with lively entertainment and Skip’s will feature a cash bar. This is a family-friendly event. Admission, which includes live entertainment and all the chili and fixins’ one could imagine, is $10 for adults; children six to 12 are half price and children younger than six are free.
For more information about the chili cook-off or the farmers market, call Skip’s at 269-469-3341.