Retired chef Contessa D. LaPasta is lending her culinary experience as a taste-tester at the 19th Annual Ludlow Rotary Chili Cook-off on Saturday, October 10.
Cavendish resident LaPasta, also known locally as Vicki Corrao, joins fellow judges retired Ludlow Fire Chief Richard Harrison and local landscaper Wayne Hammond.
LaPasta, who winters in Pompano Beach, FL, is the founder of three New York City restaurants, a trade writer for "Today's Restaurant News" and a frequent cooking contest judge.
Meanwhile, the deadline nears to enter the contest. All that's needed are three gallons of chili in a pot with a serving spoon and a $10 entry fee. The Rotary Club will provide the table, Sterno and customer service. An entry form may be obtained from Rotarian Glenn Heitsmith at 228-8666.
The Rotary Club Chili Cook-Off will take place rain or shine in a large tent at the corner of Depot and Main streets - by the traffic light - in the center of downtown Ludlow. The tasting starts at 11 a.m. and continues until the last chili is ladled out, usually by 2 p.m.
A $6 admission entitles Chili Cook-Off visitors to all the chili they can eat, as well as bread, cider and ice cream. Proceeds from the Annual Chili Cook-Off benefit Rotary projects and the Black River Valley Senior Center, which serves residents of Andover, Cavendish, Ludlow, Plymouth and Weston.
Cash prizes will be awarded in three "People's Choice" categories - $100 to win, $50 to place and $25 to show. Judges' awards will recognize the Best Chili, the Spiciest Chili and the chili served with the best Team Spirit.