vic rallo 032816 2Staff from Vic Rallo’s Surf BBQ will be the judges for a Traditional Chili Cook-Off, hosted at the Rumson Fire Station on Saturday, October 22.

Purveyors of the most celebrated chili recipes often use the image of a firehouse (or a multi-alarm blaze) as a selling point for their customized take on the spicy South-of-the-Border stew — so it’s only appropriate that when the Oceanic Free Library hosts its latest benefit event on October 22, it will be a Traditional Chili Cook-Off that takes place inside the nearby Rumson Fire Station at 140 East River Road.

The public is invited to stop in at the station between the hours of 3 to 6 p.m., for a sampling of homemade chili recipes, prepared and presented by as many as 30 local contestants — all of them vying for prizes (and borough-wide bragging rights) in a hot ‘n heavy competition that promises to hit the spot for a great local cause.

A fiery fundraiser for the operations and programs of the privately funded library, the Cook-Off will be judged on five criteria (taste, consistency, aroma, color, and “bite”), with distinguished jurors from Surf BBQ, the East River Road eatery recently opened by restaurateur (and host of Public TV’s Eat! Drink! Italy), Vic Rallo at the former location of Molly McGuire’s. First, second and third prizes will be awarded, in addition to an Honorable Mention crowd-pleaser voted on by the public.

There’s still time to sign up as a contestant, with all participants asked to observe the following guidelines:

1. Chili will be cooked at home

2. Must make a minimum of 2 Quarts

3. Chili may not contain beans of any kind

4. Chili may be Red or Green

5. Must provide your own serving utensils

6. Must provide your own way to keep your chili warm

(Crock pot or Portable burner or Sterno)

7. Can provide your own fixings to accompany your chili

Attendees will be asked to pay $1 per tasting (the firehouse will provide cups and forks), and beverages will be available for purchase. To register or for additional information, call (732)842-2692.