people line up for food

Chili And Wing Cookoff on Lake Wallenpaupack

Annual Chili & Wing Cook-Off Turns Up the Heat!

A Little Background

Hot and spicy. Sweet and sour. Ever since Buffalo Wings came on the scene in 1964, they’ve been prepared and enjoyed in just about every combination you can name. Teressa Bellissimo is credited with inventing chicken wings in the kitchen of her family’s Buffalo, NY bar. The craze quickly took off and is now a staple in restaurants across the US. Chili has been a favorite since the early days of the American West, but everyone has their own spin on the classic comfort food. Chili con carne has its origins in 19th century San Antonio, TX. “Chili Queens” served the economical dish to soldiers and frontiersman in open air plazas, launching what we know as Tex-Mex cuisine. On March 5 taste how far this classic American fare has come during the annual Chili and Wing-Cookoff at The Waterfront at Silver Birches.


The highly-anticipated annual event has over 20 of the best chefs from local restaurants, schools and organizations facing off in a culinary showdown. Past participants have included Gresham’s Chophouse, The Boathouse, John’s Italian Restaurant, Wallenpaupack Brewing Company, Apple Valley Restaurant, The Dock on Wallenpaupack and Reno’s Pizzeria. Joining the competition are cooks from Delaware Valley High School and Wallenpaupack Area High School as well as some home chefs.

basket of wings

Contestants get creative with their recipes, so you can tempt your taste buds with a variety of flavors. Entries in previous years have included wing creations such as Kickin’ Bourbon Barrel, Chili Lime, Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Habanero, Garlic Parmesan Caramel Sesame and Spicy Asian. The chili competition has seen offerings such as Wagu Beef, Bison Bourbon, Smoky Texas Bison, Chocolate Barbecue Brisket and Wild Game.

Silver Birches not only hosts the spirited competition, but also supplies each participant with 120 pounds of wings and all of the cups, plates, spoons, napkins and wet naps necessary for service. To compete in the Chili and Wing Cookoff, call 570-226-2124. Deadline to enter is February 11.

group wins trophy

Judges & Prizes

A panel of judges from Wallenpaupack Area High School selects the winners. In addition to bragging rights, first place winners receive a $100 cash prize and a trophy. Second and third place winners also take home a trophy. Everyone who attends gets a ballot for the hotly contested People’s Choice Award and a chance to vote for your favorite dishes. The coveted title also brings a $100 cash prize for the winners plus trophies for first, second and third place.

Festival Fun

Feast in the fun, festival atmosphere, which includes music provided by a DJ from Bold Gold Media. The competition begins at noon with the awards presentation slated for between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person, $15 for children. Take home some treats from Cocoon Coffeehouse and Bakery. A variety of cookies, breads and desserts will be available for purchase.

guests are served food

Planning your Next Getaway

Now that you have a taste of what the area has to offer, feed your inner foodie with our Be Social– Dine Around Town Special. The package includes a three-night stay at Silver Birches Resort plus dining vouchers for three of Hawley’s renowned restaurants. Experience farm-to-table goodness with a traditional meal at The Settlers Inn. Savor dinner, and the sunset, at The Dock on Wallenpaupack. Share exceptionally crafted small plates in the cool surroundings of Glass– wine. bar. kitchen.