Cornucopia in Sayville looks to dominate in 2020 Chili Smackdown


Cornucopia in Sayville headlines Long Island’s 10th annual “2020 Chili Smackdown,” offering up its delicious vegan take on the hot dish in the annual competition.

The health food store and café is among nine teams at locations in Nassau and Suffolk counties that will sell their “Chili Smackdown” offerings this weekend.

The four-day event — hosted by the Association for Mental Health and Wellness (MHAW) and raising funds for community mental health services — culminates with a Facebook Live awards ceremony Monday at 7 p.m.

Cornucopia, located at 35 N. Main St. in Sayville, will sell its special vegan chili Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 16-18), from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Here are the other teams participating:

Green Street Food Truck (Vegan):
Oct. 16, 4-10 p.m. at Destination Unknown Beer Co., 15 Chicago Ave. in Bay Shore.
Oct. 17, 4-8 p.m. at Jonah’s Garden, 2279 Jerusalem Ave. in North Bellmore.
Oct 18, Noon-6 p.m. at Moriches Field Brewing Co., 1 Wilcox Ave. in Center Moriches.

Sweet Soul Bakery (Vegan)
Oct. 17, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 454 Lake Ave. in St. James.

Martin Kessler VFW, Wheatley Heights (Vegan and Meat)
(Located at 19 Colonial Springs Road in Wyandanch.)
Oct. 16, 3-9 p.m. • Oct. 17, noon-9 p.m. • Oct. 18, noon-9 p.m.

Lindenhurst Diner
(195 Montauk Highway)
Oct. 16-18, 7 a.m.-midnight

The five Chili Smackdown teams listed below will sell their versions of chili in “grab-and-go” pints at MHAW headquarters, 939 Johnson Ave. in Ronkonkoma, on Saturday, Oct. 17, from noon-5 p.m.

  • Creatures Comfort (Vegan)
  • Karen Boris Johnson Team (Vegan)
  • Great While Heat (Meat)
  • Suffolk County United Veterans (Meat)
  • Ronkonkoma Rotary (Meat)

Customers will purchase pints of chili from their cars. Volunteers – wearing COVID-19 appropriate masks and gloves – will bring meat-based or vegan chili to the cars, under guidelines approved by the Suffolk County Health Department. To help minimize physical contact at the site, customers can click here to purchase pints of chili for $5 in advance.

The award ceremony Monday night (Oct. 19) will recognize the chili teams that cooked up the most popular chili, organizers said. Raffle prize winners will also be announced.

In years past, the contest was held each October at the Ronkonkoma headquarters of MHAW, a nonprofit organization providing programs, services and advocacy for children, adults and veterans facing mental health challenges. The 2020 format is also intended to provide an economic boost to local restaurants that have struggled due to the pandemic.

“The pandemic has increased demand for mental health services across Suffolk County and across America,” said Michael Stoltz, MHAW’s chief executive Officer. “You can help the dedicated staff and volunteers of MHAW provide support to our neighbors by taking part in this wonderful ‘Chili Smackdown.’ It’s a fun and tasty way to strengthen our communities.”

MHAW will also sell copies of its commemorative chili cookbooks for and Chili Smackdown-branded face coverings, each for $10. Click here to purchase the cookbooks, face coverings and raffle tickets.

Click here to support MHAW’s mental health services at its Chili Smackdown GoFundMe page.