ITHACA, N.Y.—Downtown Ithaca has delayed this year’s Chili Cook-Off a month in light of Omicron cases throughout the community.

The event is now scheduled for Saturday, March 5, and will include additional chili-tasting opportunities throughout the week leading up to the event weekend at participating local restaurants.

Attending this year’s cook-off are Antlers Restaurants, a first-timer to the event, Kilpatrick’s Public House, Mahogany Grill, Lucky Hare Brewing Company and the Hotel Ithaca. Local ciders, beer and wines will also be available.

The Downtown Ithaca Alliance is currently still recruiting restaurants, and culinary experts from the participating eateries will be competing for the People’s Choice and Best Presentation honors voted by the public.

A juried group will decide top three under then Best Meat Chili, Best Vegetarian Chili and Best Local Beverage categories, with a grand prize is a framed Chili Cook-Off trophy plus, as always, the bragging rights.

Restaurants and eateries interested in participating can register here.

“We look forward to the Chili Cook-Off every year, and we’re certainly thrilled to be able to organize it safely,” said Scott Rougeau, special events director for the DIA. “The public is truly in for a treat. The competition is typically fierce but friendly, so we’re expecting many tasty chilies that everyone may enjoy. We thank the community for its continued support for this ultimate foodie and family-friendly event.”

Zoë Freer-Hessler

Zoë Freer-Hessler is the digital editor/reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Joining in November 2021, she has covered a wide range of topics related to local news. She can be reached at,...