Who makes the most effective meatball on Staten Island? Meatball contest nets $325K in a single evening for most cancers trigger.


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Earlier this yr, Violette’s Cellar proprietor Peter Botros set out in the hunt for the perfect native, non-professionally produced meatball along with his second annual Meatballs & Mixology program. Hundreds of meatballs and 225 company later, the endeavor netted the Grant Metropolis restaurant $325,000, an quantity given fully to the Staten Island College Hospital’s Florina Most cancers Heart, Ocean Breeze.

The competitors came about within the subterranean digs of Violette’s on Groundhog’s Day over a buffet dinner, particular craft cocktails and 10 stations of meatballs served by their makers, every a contender within the contest. Winners earned bragging rights and title of “finest.”

“Meatballs and Mixology is an annual occasion going ahead, stated Botros. The subject of meatballs, he maintained, “couldn’t be extra Staten Island.” The 2023 chapter noticed 10 finalists chosen from 52 vetted beginner entrants in a preliminary sampling.

Botros identified that each Meatballs & Mixology visitor had some particular person of their lives affected by most cancers. Actually, most of the fundraiser’s attendees work at SIUH and a few with most cancers sufferers.


From left to proper: Peer Botros, Elvis Duran, Barbara Carr and son Alex Carr at Meatballs & Mixology at Violette’s Cellar in Grant Metropolis (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

He added, “I’m utterly blown away by what occurred right here! We host charity occasions usually and this was by far probably the most profitable, emotional, and enjoyable occasion we now have ever hosted!”

The lion’s share of the ultimate greenback rely got here from Z-100′s Elvis Duran and husband Alex Carr. Duran pitched in with $250,000 and Carr established a GoFundMe that introduced in over $51,000. Carr himself simply completed remedy for testicular most cancers on the Florina Most cancers Heart. Supporters additional amped up the whole with their collective ticket gross sales plus a number of checks from company written for $500 and extra.


Barbara Carr’s station at Meatballs & Mixology at Violette’s Cellar in Grant Metropolis (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Botros stated the whole got here thanks “to the unimaginable generosity of Elvis Duran, Alex Carr, Violette’s Cellar, all of the rivals and company who attended the occasion.”

With the restaurant’s motto as “F-Most cancers” and a neon signal on Hylan Boulevard to broadcast such a sentiment, Botros stated, “The venue may be very particular to me and my companions because the three of us all misplaced our moms to most cancers. Named after my mom, Violette who misplaced her battle with most cancers over 20 years in the past. Violette’s Cellar, from its inception, has been on a mission to honor her and the entire individuals who have been impacted by this horrible illness.”

Thursday evening’s festivities successfully doubled the restaurant’s preliminary pledge of $250,000 slated for the Florina Most cancers Heart.


Laura Longo with household celebrating her title as “finest” for the “Folks’s Selection Award.” (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)


Tasting dozens of meatballs proved a feat for Botros and his fellow judges — yours really, Dr. Brahim Ardolic, Dr. Joanne Pierro and Chef Luis Jimenez. One of many prime specimens, Laura Longo’s entry, turned out to be the very first one sampled which made it tougher for the remainder of the entries that adopted.

Botros supplied an perception into the method of tasting so many gadgets in succession. He stated, “You wish to just be sure you can isolate the flavour whilst you’re tasting of the meatball itself, separate from the sauce, in an effort to determine textures and flavors within the meatball after which be capable to style the sauce.”


Craft cocktails at Meatballs & Mixology at Violette’s Cellar in Grant Metropolis (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)

Contenders included Decide Matthew Titone, Laureen Ferrante, Jason Salome, Dereck Tabacco, Frank Lettera and Barbara Carr. Pamela Grace got here in third place as “Folks’s Selection” and with the judges.

The “Folks’s Selection” award went to Laura Longo with Anthony Pistilli as runner up. Longo was the runner up for the Judges Selection. High honors from the judges went to Tina and Mike Ryan. Mike is presently battling most cancers.

Pamela Silvestri is Advance Meals Editor. She will be reached at [email protected].