TOMS RIVER — New Jersey rock icon Jon Bon Jovi took on special guest star status at the recent, seventh annual edition of his nonprofit "community restaurant"'s chili competition.

A gallery of photos posted Wednesday by the Facebook account of JBJ Soul Kitchen Toms River showed the 60-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer interacting with guests and contestants, many of them first responders, at the Chili Cook-Off sponsored by the restaurant on Oct. 16.

An Oct. 26 post said the event also resulted in the donation of more than 580 pounds of food to the nonprofit's community partner, Fulfill's People's Pantry.

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Backed by the JBJ Soul Foundation, there are two Soul Kitchen locations in New Jersey, in Toms River and Red Bank.

Wednesday's Facebook post listed the top three finishers in the chili contest:

  1. Union Beach Police Department, "Momma's Blue Line Chili"
  2. Six Flags EMS, "Nitro Chili"
  3. New Jersey State Police Troop D Parkway Region Holmdel Station, "Joey Keys Smoked Chili"

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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