On Saturday evening the Orange Ale House Grille and Burger Bar hosted the second annual Meatball Challenge to benefit the late Paul Newman’s Hole In The Wall Camp and to crown the first and second place winners who made the best meatballs in New Haven County.
The 2016 Meatball Challenge Committee included Angela McNabola, Jessica Bakis, PJ Shanley, Ed McManus, Jim Pino Jr., and Jim Hassenmayer, owner of the Ale House.
This year, there were celebrity judges — food critics Vincent Faracelli and Robert Modena, Jerry the Chef, Anna Zap from Star 99.9 radio and Erin Logan from Fox 61 (instead of the crowd making the ultimate decision) and they had plenty to choose from — 20 cooks participated in the competition.
The final tally was close: Mike Martone won by less than half a point, second place went to Mishele Appleby and last year’s winner Barbara Lehrer came in third. McNabola received the popular vote.
There were lots of excellent gift baskets and raffle prizes to add to the excitement and the one and only Jimmy Pino and his band Freeplay providing entertainment for nearly 300 guests.
Click HERE to see all of G. Gregory Geiger’s photos from the event.