Police and firefighters’ chili recipes raise $3,000 for Special Olympics

The Rev. Kenneth Fellenbaum grabs a chili sample from Milford Firefighter Brian Carpenter at Saturday’s annual chili festival to support Special Olympics.

The Rev. Kenneth Fellenbaum grabs a chili sample from Milford Firefighter Brian Carpenter at Saturday’s annual chili festival to support Special Olympics.

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Milford and Stratford firefighters took top prizes in a weekend chili cook-off that raised about $3,000 for Special Olympics.

Milford firefighters used hand-cured bacon and maple syrup tapped from a friend’s tree to make their special chili for the seventh annual Milford Yacht Club Police & Firefighter Chili Festival Saturday.

The cook-off was held at the Milford Yacht Club and takes place each year to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut.

Teams representing departments from Milford, Orange, Monroe, and Stratford participated.

The chili creations varied from department to department. The Stratford Fire Department used cilantro and beef brisket.

The Milford Police Department’s secret ingredient was chocolate — “special chocolate,” said event organizer Jeff Nielsen of the Milford Police Department.

The Monroe Police Department, new to the event this year, created a “cajuny” chili, said police Detective Kelly McFarland

And the Orange Police Department came with what it described as a “standard chili,” featuring beans and barbecue sauce.

“It’s a good, standard chili,” said Officer Brian Foote.

His wife, Nicole Foote, added, “This way people know they’re getting chili.”

In the judge’s choice category, first place went to the Milford Fire Department, and second place to the Stratford Fire Department.

In the people’s choice category, determined by votes cast by chili eaters at the event, first place went to the Stratford Fire Department and second place to the Orange Police Department.

The Milford Yacht Club donated the venue, staffing, soft drinks, and main ingredients for the chili recipes for all participating teams for the event.

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