Chelsea Neighborhood Association kicked off its month-long empanada contest Friday, July 31 under a big top at Knife & Fork, Atlantic City.

ATLANTIC CITY – As the Chelsea Economic Development Corporation and ACDEVCO’s August Empanada Challenge comes to a close on Aug. 31, organizers are planning an exciting event to announce the winner.

Contestants, local chefs, and the public will gather 1:30-3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1 under a tent at the iconic Knife & Fork restaurant on Albany and Atlantic avenues to close out the high profile competition that brought new customers to local businesses and increased sales at 10 neighborhood eateries.

In addition to announcing the 2020 Empanada Challenge winner, local chefs will be judging the empanadas for best presentation, best filling, best crust and best overall taste. Celebrity chef judges include Cookie Till of Steve and Cookies By The Bay, Stephan Johnson of Dock’s Oyster House, Mike Brennan of Cardinal Restaurant and Hotel, Pam Green of the Boys and Girls Club (formerly the Sheraton), Elvis Cavidad of Vagabond, Mike Hauke of Tony Baloney’s and personal chef Gabe Moran.

The goal of the contest was to elicit 1,000 votes during the month, but more than 2,000 votes were cast.

Participants included Mexico, Sabor Salvadoreno , Queens, Mr. Taco, El Gran Chalan, Rincón Catracho, El Patron, Lenox Café, Chismosa’s Kitchen at Celebrity Corner, and Boom Market Café, all located in the Chelsea area of Atlantic City.

The contest captured the flavor of the neighborhood, reflecting the tastes and customs of El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, Honduras and Colombia.

These local businesses are well known in the Chelsea neighborhood, however the goal was to bring attention to this great neighborhood asset and introduce people from throughout the region to the international food district of Chelsea. Ethnic restaurants have always contributed to the energy and vitality of the neighborhood, and this summer outside dining added to the excitement.

In addition to celebrating diversity and supporting local businesses, priorities of ChelseaEDC include beautification, youth and adult career training, recreation, improved housing and better paying jobs.

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Categories: Atlantic City

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.