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Fun, Sun and 47+ Chili Chefs Compete for the 14th Annual “Best in Fest”

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ―Chilifest returned with over 450 attendees gathered to sample the 47 steaming pots of chili entered to win the coveted, “Best in Fest” prize! Adult Swim was the theme of the 14th annual fundraiser hosted by The Front Porch Club of Atlantic Highlands celebrating the art of chili making. The adult-only, outdoor event started at 5 pm on Saturday, Sept. 28, under blue skies at the Avenue A beach adjacent to the donated Seastreak parking lot, which has spectacular views of Manhattan and Sandy Hook Bay.

In addition to the many artisan chilis entered, guests feasted on pulled pork and ratatouille donated by Bedminster Golf Club and refreshing beverages provided by Carton Brewing and Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum. The attendees enjoyed live entertainment provided by local musicians. MAMADRAMA opened the evening and was followed up by the featured bands, The Haven and The Elastic Waist Band.

“Chilifest never disappoints,” said Benson Chiles, a co-founder of the event. “The food, music and beverages are always excellent, and this year’s waterfront views were incredible. However, the best thing about chilifest is always the amazing people who come together to celebrate the Atlantic Highlands community.”

Henry Hudson Tri District Education Foundation President, Corinna Thuss also commented, “We really appreciate the amazing support by local businesses and families of this year’s Chilifest.”

Judging the entries were Atlantic Highlands Mayor, Randi LeGrice; last year’s Best in Fest champion, Wendy Corbino; Brendan Neville, Chef at Atlantic House; and Erin Brinley, Shipwreck Rum. This year’s proud winners: Best in Fest –Melissa Fariello, 1strunner up Bridget Warshauer, 3rdChris Gjertsen. Most Exotic award to Brian Boms (3rd-time champ); Best Vegetarian winner, Linda Peng-Grooters, and the ever-popular People’s Choice Award went to Bridget Warshauer.

The event would not have been possible without all the generous sponsors! Premium Sponsors of the event: Brinley Shipwreck Rum, Carton Brewing Co, Montecalvo/Bayshore Family of Companies. Gold Sponsors were CME Associates, Francesco’s Italian Restaurant, Henry Hudson Tri-District Schools, Page Wellness Center, Proving Ground Waterfront Dining, Seastreak and Two River Community Bank. Prizes provided by Ship Ahoy Beach Club, Shipwreck Rum, Eyes on First Ave, Atlantic House Restaurant, Two River Theater, and Jersey Mikes Subs.

Over the last 14 years, the Front Porch Club has raised more than $125,000 for nonprofit organizations in the Monmouth County area. This year’s event brought in over $13,000 for two Monmouth County non-profit organizations; the Henry Hudson Tri-District Education Foundation (HHTDEF) and Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF). For more information, visit HHTDEF at www.HHDEF.organd MCF at

For more details about the Front Porch Club or to join one of its many groups, visit

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