Daniel Gordon, Contributor at Large

New Yorkers know March can be chili. To provide some extra warmth, Mini-Circuits hosted its first-ever company chili cook-off on March 22, 2023 at its Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn headquarters.

Organized by the HR team, the cook-off featured eight contestants:

  • Judith Dejoie (Kit Room)
  • Michael Acevedo (Facilities/Maintenance)
  • Win Pa Pa Kyi (Switch Assembly)
  • Eddie Carrasco (Facilities/Maintenance)
  • Marvin Defreitas (Warehouse Operations – DP)
  • Gary Warner (EH&S)
  • Karen Khaing (Production Test)
  • Miryam Gonzalez (Accounts Payable)
Team members sample the chili options.
The panel of executive judges.

Each contestant cooked an extra-large pot of chili with their own chef-tested, family-approved recipe for a chance to win a wooden cutting board engraved with “Mini-Circuits Chili Cook-Off 2023.” They brought their creations ready to be freshly served to—and fiercely judged by—fellow members in Mini-Circuits’ two Brooklyn facilities as well as a panel of five executive judges. Toppings and table décor were encouraged but not required.

From noon to 2 p.m., members made their way to the Neptune Avenue cafeteria at their convenience to taste eight types of homemade chili. They filled out score cards rating each recipe for appearance, aroma, taste, and spice.

And the winners were…Marvin Defreitas and Miryam Gonzalez!

Marvin won the Judge’s Choice award, while Miryam took home the People’s Choice award.

Judges tasting and scoring the chilis.
One of the chili stations at the cook-off.

“My recipe had very lean ground pork, three different beans—pinto, black, and kidney— and my secret ingredient was freshly ground cinnamon,” Marvin explained.

The best part? “The participation from all the members,” Marvin said, thanking everyone for the kind words about his cooking. “Many people congratulated me for the win. I love making people happy with food.”

Special thanks to the HR team for sponsoring and organizing the event, and to all who participated, whether by cooking, tasting, or judging. It was a fun and delicious way to manifest the warmth of spring.

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