A hungry winter crowd gathered at the Red Rooster Pub, in Skaneateles Falls, on Jan.16, to sample and judge meatballs at the First Annual Meatball Cook-off. Local kitchen chefs fired up their crackpots and ovens putting secret recipes to the test to find out who makes the best 'Balls in the Falls.' Tom Benedict, owner of the Pub, was pleased with the turnout considering the offbeat nature of the contest.
"Chili cook-offs happen all the time. This was a nice change," Benedict said.
More than $500 was raised from the nine entrants and almost two dozen hungry samplers who paid a small fee, which was directly donated to the Skaneateles Volunteer Fire Department.
"These events are great for getting people together and having a good time," said Jim Buff, 48 year veteran of the fire department.
Everyone who sampled the simmering orbs judged who had the best, hottest and the biggest meatballs.
When the votes were added up, Thomas Armstrong, a chef from Skaneateles already known throughout CNY for his hot sauce, "Tom's Bootleg BBQ Sauce," was the maker of not only the Best, but the Hottest meatballs. Bob Wayne, also of Skaneateles, provided the Biggest meatballs.
"This was a great turnout for a good cause," Benedict said, who is already planning more charitable events to benefit the community at large.