Restaurants in the north of the country are gearing up for chili cuisine

CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) — North Country restaurants are putting their chili to the test in this year’s pub-style North Country Chili Cook-off crawl.

Trish Hunt has been serving chili at the River Bottom Bar and Grille in Clayton for about three years.

“I get compliments on my chili all the time,” Hunt said.

It’s a recipe that has been in her family for over 30 years and which she presents this year during the North Country Chili Cook-off.

“For us, we wouldn’t be able to compete if it was downtown because we’re a small business. We only have a limited number of cooks,” Hunt said.

River Bottom Bar and Grill is one of more than 30 participating restaurants this year. All restaurants are trying to raise funds for the Volunteer Transportation Center.

It’s a cause dear to the workers of Meme’s Diner.

The restaurant won the award for best fundraiser the first year it participated, and it hopes to win again in 2022.

“We serve a large portion of the military community and since this is a volunteer transportation center, especially for veterans, we jumped at the chance to do so,” Brandy said. Snyder, owner of Meme’s Diner.

Chili Cook-Off organizers have adopted this format on the road due to the pandemic.

Some restaurateurs say it was a real game-changer.

“It brings people out of our community who don’t normally come to Carthage, and it gives you a reason to go try another restaurant. Not only having the chili, but some of their other featured items that are fantastic on their menu,” said Dawn Lelakowski, owner of Church Street Diner.

Click here to see all locations and how to vote.

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