ITHACA, N.Y. –– The 2020 Chili Cook-off drew a healthy crowd Saturday, despite ‘chili’ temps and heavy snow. The winners of the 22nd annual cook-off have finally been tabulated!

Despite heavy snow on Friday that caused closures and traffic chaos across the city, the cook-off drew thousands to the Commons on Saturday to sample more than 40 varieties of chili.

“It was certainly an issue, but city resources came together, the Commons maintenance crew were out Friday cleaning it, myself and my team were down here at the crack of dawn shoveling by hand,” said Downtown Ithaca Alliance Special Events Director Scott Rougeau. “It’s a February festival, it’s supposed to be a little cold–– for chili and stuff.”

The winner of the best meat chili was the Ithaca Ale House. Viva Taqueria claimed first place for best vegan or vegetarian chili, and Cayuga Medical Center won for best chili-inspired food for their chocolate chili brownie. Finger Lakes Cider House took home gold for best beverage for their Cider Brady.

The people spoke, and their choices for best presentation and best overall were Luna Inspired Street Food and Taverna Banfi, respectively.

Results for the Ithaca Beard & Mustache Club’s Beard and ‘Stache Competition will be available on the club’s Facebook page.

Scott Rougneau gave thanks to all the participants and sponsors following the announcement of the cook-off winners.

“We thank our participants for creating some of the best-tasting and most innovative chilis and beverages ever. We also thank everyone who came out to sample the impressive selection of chilis, brews, wines and hot cocoa. Plus, we’re grateful to our sponsors, Maguire Hyundai Subaru Genesis and City Centre for making this event possible. We hope to see you all again next year,” he said.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com