ATLANTIC CITY — The month-long Empanada Challenge in the Chelsea section of the city has drawn to a close, and the winner is Rincón Catracho with 34.5% of the 2,091 community votes.
Of the 10 competing restaurants, it was the husband and wife team of Alexis Cano and Siara Zuniga at Rincón Catracho that collected the most votes from eaters who spent the month of August sampling empanadas at various Chelsea spots.
When the contest ended last Monday, a reception event featuring local celebrity chefs was held to announce the winner, as well as award additional prizes. Rincón Catracho added Best Presentation to its accolades, while Sabor Salvadoreño, which took second in the popular vote, was awarded Best Crust and Best Overall by the local chefs. Mexico Restaurant and Bar won Best Filling.
Those celebrity judges included Cookie Till of Margate’s Steve and Cookies, Stephan Johnson of Dock’s Oyster House, and Pam Green of the Boys and Girls Club Culinary Program, among others.
The contest was sponsored by the Atlantic City Development Corporation as well as the Chelsea Economic Corporation as a way of celebrating the neighborhood’s diverse and vibrant character and helping brand the Chelsea International Food District.
The competition’s support of local restaurants drove an increase in business as Sabor Salvadoreño reported a tripling of sales over August of 2019’s numbers and Rincón Catracho said its empanada sales doubled.
As contest winners, Rincón Catracho’s Zuniga and Cano, will get their photos on the ACDEVCO billboard at Albany Avenue along with the names of the nine other participating restaurants.