New Brunswick Celebrates the Holidays

New Brunswick is kicking off the holidays on Friday, Dec. 5, with the annual tree lighting and Hot Pot Cooking competition. The competition is between local New Brunswick restaurants along Livingston Avenue between 5 and 6:30 p.m.

New Brunswick City Market has been hosting the Hot Pot Cooking competition for over 16 years with the earlier competition starting out as a New Jersey Fresh Soup Competition. Most recently, City Market, a website for downtown New Brunswick, has been hosting a chili cook-off competition that includes the opportunity to vote for your favorite chili recipe. To vote, people can make a $2 donation for a tasting kit that contains all recipes, and a voting ticket; which is dropped into a container located on each restaurant’s table, which proceeds benefit Elijah’s Promise, a local soup kitchen.

With an array of cultural ethnic selections, this year City Market has decided to try a Hot Pot competition. Restaurants in New Brunswick can compete with anything that can be cooked or served in from a Hot Pot. This can include soup, stew, and chili and contain meats, vegetarian, or broth.

Once the containers are collected and tallied from each restaurant’s table, the winners are announced on stage prior to the tree lighting. The winner and runner-up are given a trophy as a prize. Previous winners have been Harvest Moon Brewery and Café, Hansel N’ Griddle, and Glass Woods Tavern.

“This not only showcases the diversity of restaurants and creativity of our New Brunswick Chefs, but provides a charity component to support Elijah’s Promise,” says Pamela Stefanek, Executive Director of New Brunswick City Market.