Brand-new chili cook-off supports local nonprofit

NOW: Brand-new chili cook-off supports local nonprofit

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- It’s chili for a cause!

“We hosted a chili cook-off to support Cultivate Food Rescue,” says Kevin Jakel, the owner of Tippecanoe Restaurant and Studebaker Brewing Company.

Cultivate Food Rescue is a local nonprofit that works to give meals to those that need one.

“We are a food rescue organization; we work with restaurants in the area, Notre Dame, Century Center, different catering companies, and we rescue their prepared but unserved food and repurpose it into meals,” explains the Director of Planning and Programs for Cultivate Food Rescue, Lainie Holland.

Hosted by the Downtown Dining Association of South Bend, 11 local restaurants including Café Navarre, Chicory Café, Fiddler’s Hearth, and Lasalle Grill brought their best chili recipe for visitors to sample. They also got to wash it down with local brews, all while taking a tour of the historic Tippecanoe Place.

“To be able to promote our local restaurants is something that we’re really proud of too as an organization because they’re the ones that give back to us, through financial resources and food donations as well,” says Holland.

Visitors got to vote for their favorite chili, but three judges make the ultimate decision of who got to take home the first-place prize and win the first chili cook-off.

“I mean it’s a little outside of our wheelhouse, you know we do Irish grub,” says an owner of Fiddler’s Hearth.

With a beer-braised pork base and potatoes on top, Fiddler’s Hearth took home the award for best chili.

“Beer and whiskey, we use it a lot in our cooking,” they add.

Win or lose, the chili cook-off was a chance to showcase locally owned restaurants and businesses, all while helping to feed the community.

“It’s been awesome to see all these people supporting local restaurants, local organizations, and just our community and what we’re doing to rally around hunger and food in this area,” Holland says.

Don’t worry if you missed out on this year’s cook-off, turnout was so good they’re already planning on making it an annual event!

Cultivate Food Rescue Website

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