Chefs from Hattie’s Restaurant (last year’s winner of the “Best Chili” vote), Druthers Brewing Company, Henry St. Taproom, Lillian’s Restaurant and Putnam Market will each be handing out varied recipes for attendees to taste.
“They’re all going to be doing something a little different,” said Jill Kovachick, director of Saratoga Clay Arts Center. “For instance, Putnam Market is doing a vegetarian chili, and I’m almost positive Jasper from Hattie’s uses a brisket in his chili—the others I’m not sure because we haven’t had them here before, but it’s all new and will be a surprise to all of us.”
Kovachick said that the Center is preparing for a bigger crowd this year after being “shocked” at the event’s turnout last year.
“We had a beautiful mild day last year—the weather was probably in the ‘50s—and we had people out the door and down the driveway waiting to get in the center,” she said. “So this year we’re going to be a little more prepared.”
The event will now be organized into five different time slots—anyone can register online for the timeslot of their choosing to pick out the bowls they want to purchase, and then move forward to try the different chili. The first timeslot will take place from 11 a.m. – noon, with four more hour-long slots until the event ends at 4 p.m.
Kovachick also added that there will be live music, throwing demonstrations showing how to make ceramic bowls, and beer tastings provided by Druthers.
Another difference in this year’s event is the way the proceeds from the event are being donated—half of the money of a purchase from one bowl will go toward the Clay Arts Center, while the other half will go to a charity selected by each restaurant. Each bowl is $15, chili included.
“This year we’re allowing the restaurants to decide where they want their proceeds to go—we’re doing it with poker chips,” Kovachick said. “For instance, if Lillian’s has 25 poker chips go into their container, half of that will go to the organization they chose and the other half will go to us.”
Besides raising funds for both the Arts Center and varied charities around town, Kovachick said the event has garnered interest throughout the community.
“I think the Chili Bowl brings the community together, which is great. One of the things I love about it is the fact that we’ve gotten so many people interested in coming and enjoying the event,” she said. “It was a very exciting event last year, and we expect it’s going to be the same this year.”