It was 3:30 when we pulled into the parking lot at the Noyes Museum of Art.  The museum is committed to "creating a thriving cultural environment for experiencing the arts in the southern New Jersey region."  It is a small, but vibrant museum and if last night was any indication, it is succeeding fabulously.  Last night was the museum's second annual Chili Cook-Off.



I wouldn't typically think of chili as a force for art appreciation, but at Noyes, it surely is.  I was surprised to learn that we were setting up, not in an empty lobby or meeting room, but right in the middle of the gallery itself.





I am not the world's neatest cook, but I was on my best behavior, and even after a couple of beers (yes, in addition to the chili, the museum was serving beer last night) I managed not to make a mess.  Hundreds of people turned out to sample the chili and art.





The museum itself is adjacent to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.  The view is extraordinary.







And my chili?  My Smoked Pork - Black Bean Chili took Third Place in the judging.  If you're interested, the recipe is posted on my website.