The Great Hot Dog Cookoff started as a modest, friendly, cooking competition for Kara Masi and her friends 7 years ago. 50 people hanging out around the grill in year one, passing around a can for charity donations grew to 100 the next year, and 175 the next. After three years of running the hot dog cookoffs out of Kara’s backyard in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the Cookoff upgraded to the headquarters of lead sponsor, KelSo Beer Company, in Clinton Hill in 2009 and brought on co-organizers Jennie Gustafson and Melissa Sands. After three years at KelSo, the Cookoff headed to 630 Flushing Ave, site of the former Pfizer headquarters and the new center for burgeoning Brooklyn food businesses including McClure’s Pickles, People’s Pops and Kombucha Brooklyn.
This culinary competition and fundraiser has raised over $35,000 to date for local charities including City Harvest, BARC Animal Shelter and the Food Bank For New York City. All net proceeds from Cookoff events are donated.