Michelle Manchini Upsets Sausage Cart @ Rockland Eagles and Rakes in the Clam$

February 11, 2013


All photos courtesy of Eagle Zeb

More than 400 fans made their way through the Fraternal Mansion House last Saturday to participate in the Rockland Eagles Chili Chowder Fest. Pros and Joes laid it all on the line presenting their time-tested recipes in the toughest food competition on the South Shore.  The serving tables stretched across the dance floor, holding some of the best Chili and Chowder I have ever seen.  Some competitors actually went to extreme lengths to win this prestigious culinary contest. Some raked their own clams for chowder, while others soaked imported black beans for  days prior to cooking, trying for that perfect result.  One thing was for sure, everyone there was in it to win it.

For the second year, regionally-renowned caterer and disk jockey, Rob Chancholo, donated his services as a Disc Jockey and Master of Ceremonies as well as entering a fantastic chili and chowder entry for the competition.  “Beats and Sweets” team scored fourth in chili edging out the mediocre by two votes. Rob finished 7th overall but he was number one with Eagles’  faithful, donating his time and talent to all things  Eagles and the town of Rockland time and time again.






Inside, the food and spirits flowed in the warm and cozy grand hall while outside was a different story. The annual Snow Shoes horse shoe tournament was a huge hit with die-hard ringers lining up to win the fist tournament of the year. The fire barrel burned on, but it was a hardly a comfort from the frozen iron shoes and concrete pits.



The hot wings eating contest caused a huge upset when the Champion Wo Jo devoured four extra large, extra hot wings in a new Eagle record of 42 seconds flat shattering the old record.  Wo Jo had all four of his wings completely eaten when the next closest contestant was barely taking his first bite of their third wing.









Some folks found it nearly impossible to contain their excitement and enthusiasm.

Emotions ran high as some competitors were crying over their mediocre performance.  Sixth place overall had him crying; but there is always next year!


The Deli Man himself took first place in Chowder.  Congrats to Jim Stranahan. Jim took first place with his famous “not too thick” Clam Chowder.  Stranahan crushed the competition scoring 25% higher than the closest competitor. Jim entered an outstanding black bean and chicken chili that was absolutely perfectly made. I had to eat eight bowls of it just to keep the votes down.


Congratulations to Bill Dawe, repeat trophy winner, who scored 2nd in chili, 2nd in chowder and 2nd overall.


Wo Jo, Hot Wing-Eating Grand Champion, with event founder Tony Chambers


Rockland’s own Mike Campanile took third place in chowder and scored Third place over all.  Last year, Mike scored in the top three also.

Mike Campanile ran into some heavy competition as the Camp family Chili King rolled out his 30-year-old Chili recipe. For me, it was the best overall. Joey Campanile was voted 2nd best in Chili.



Overall Grand Champion tipped over the sausage cart dynasty by scoring Best Overall with her “Mrs. Jackson’s Chili Recipe”, taking first place and an outstanding clam chowder taking third place.  Congratulations to Michelle Manchini! The best cook in Rockland! Winning the toughest competition on the South Shore.


Honorable mention goes out to Paul Milan of the Eagles. His endless efforts behind the scenes – planning, organizing, and arranging these events – is monumental. Milan volunteers hundreds of hours all year long, making these world class events seamless and smooth.


Congratulations to the Rockland Eagles for another fantastic success!

The Rockland Eagles 841  -  Making Rockland A Great Place to Live.