More than 3,000 dig in at Middlebury's chili festival

MIDDLEBURY — Costello’s Market took top culinary honors at Middlebury’s Third Annual Winter Carnival and Chili Festival, an event that drew more than 3,000 people to Addison County’s shire town, according to organizers.

The festival was held downtown with traffic blocked from Merchants Row and Main Street from the Middlebury Community House to the new rotary.

Lindsey Wing, chairwoman of the Better Middlebury Partnership’s Chili Committee, said hungry visitors snapped up a combined total of around 2,900 low-cost buttons entitling them to unlimited chili samples from the more than 50 participating amateur and professional cooks.

Tasters voted on six categories of chili. Here are the top three finishers in those categories:

• Beef. First, Costello’s Market. Second, Greg’s Meat Market. Third, a tie between Two Brothers Tavern and American Flatbread.

• Chicken. First, Tourterelle Restaurant. Second, Subway. Third, Jeff Johnson of East Middlebury.

• Pork. First, Costello’s. Second, 51 Main St. Third, Leunig’s Restaurant of Burlington.

• Game. First, Jessica’s Restaurant (at the Swift House Inn). Second, Bark Eaters of Shelburne. Third, Jackson’s on the River.

• Veggie. First, Inception Studios of Middlebury. Second, the Waybury Inn. Third, a tie between Greg’s Meat Market and Leunig’s.

• Kitchen Sink. First, Bar Antidote of Vergennes. Second, Sportin’ Work Construction of Middlebury. Third, Middlebury Natural Foods Coop.

Costello’s also took top overall honors as “People’s Choice,” ending a two-year reign by American Flatbread. The people’s choice winners’ names will be featured on a trophy that will be publicly displayed at a venue to be announced in the near future.

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