Chili-Chowder Cook Off Heats Up Winterfest 

Local restaurants competed for the prestigious titles of “Best Chili” and “Best Chowder” in the Bangor/Brewer region at the 9th Annual Chili-Chowder Cook Off.It’s one of the most popular events in the Winterfest celebration at the Muddy Rudder restaurant in Brewer.Folks crowded the banquet area and got free samples of chili and chowder from local restaurants.The winter weather was the perfect opportunity for folks to cool down and fill their stomachs.Cindy Benson, Chairwoman for the Winterfest says the cook off also provides restaurants with an opportunity to connect with their patrons.”It gives them advertising, exposure, they bring signage, menus so it’s a great advertising point for them,” she said.The winner of this year’s Chili Cook Off was the Red Barn Diner in Holden, they knocked out defending champ, Muddy Rudder, from the top spot this year.But the Muddy Rudder took the top prize as the “Best Chowder.”Another popular site at Winterfest were the ice sculptures. The First Place sculture was a lighthouse created by Tim Pierce from the Samoset Resort in Rockport.