Onset heats up during chili cook-off's return

Mar 31, 2018

Home cooks and professional chefs turned up the heat on a raw March evening during the Onset Bay Association’s semi-annual chili cook-off on Friday.

The friendly competition drew 17 contestants and more than 100 visitors, said Onset Bay Association President Kat Jones. The event was held at the Dudley L. Brown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Onset. Jones said the cook-off returned after a four-year hiatus.

“We took a few years off, but decided to bring it back,” said Jones. “Everyone is excited.”

All proceeds benefitted the Onset Bay Association and the group’s efforts to provide activities, concerts and other events. Attendees tasted the various recipes that had names such as “Saucy Rossi’s Suburban Cliche Chili,” “Wicked Pissah Chili,” "Bob’s Cheap Chili” and more.

Arguably the spiciest recipe of the evening belonged to Mike Ryan of Bridgwater. Ryan won “hottest chili” at a previous Onset cook-off. He arrived with orange creamsicles, which soothe screaming tastebuds, for those who couldn’t handle his seven pepper blend.

“I’ve had grown men cry,” said Ryan. “I’m going to kill it tonight.”

Orlando Vieira of Onset, one of the first to try Ryan’s recipe on Friday, didn’t argue.

“This is hotter than fireworks!” Vieira said after a taste. “It’s good. It’s good, makes you sweat.”

Less seasoned cooks than Ryan participated, including Apryl Rossi of Wareham.

The event was Rossi’s first time entering a cooking competition, and she arrived ready to show off a dish she’s made many times at home.

“I make it all time, it’s easy to put it in the crock pot, leave, and come back to a great meal,” she said.

As for her chances of winning, she had a plan even if voters didn’t choose her dish.

“I picked the first table,” she said. “So even if I don’t win, I can still say I’m number one.”