Monday, April 18, 2011

Congratulations to our Chili Cook-Off Winners!

All photos by Katie Gipple.

March’s “supermoon” shed an abundance of light on this year’s chili competition at Sylvan Heights.

On Saturday, March 19th, the Friends of Sylvan Heights (FOSH) hosted the Park's 2nd annual Chili Cook-Off from 6-9 p.m. Nine chili cooks entered a variety of chili recipes that included everything from sweet potato to pineapple. And the event attracted about 200 visitors who came to support the Park and act as “taste-testers” by voting for their favorite recipe.

Among the entrants were: Karen and Bill Bunn, with their “Southern Spice” chicken and pineapple recipe; Michelle Hawkins’ “Hot Momma’s Chili;” Kevin Hawkins’ “Fireduck;” Reginald Newsome and his spicy “Sweet Temptation Remix;” Medoc Mountain’s “Fire on the Mountain;” and “Dead-Eye Dick’s Chili” by Hunter Letchworth.

A panel of three judges blind-tasted each chili for appearance, texture, flavor, and aroma. There were also marks for best presentation. Elizabeth Murphy with her sweet potato and black bean chili came in 2nd place with the judges, while contestants Kathy and Chris Lewis won the grand prize of $250 for their “Poppa's Original Recipe” chili.

The People’s Choice award was given to the contestant who received the most votes from the guests. The Scotland Neck Lion's Club came in second place, and the $100 top prize was also awarded to Kathy and Chris Lewis!

The contestants were set up around the Multinational Pond, a layout that allowed for greater accessibility, which everyone liked. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and it was a beautiful evening for such a fun event.

The Chili Cook-off is a fundraiser organized by FOSH, with all proceeds of the event going to help meet the daily needs at the Park. To date, more than 20,000 visitors have toured the Park so far this year.

Plans are already being made for next year's event, which promises to be bigger and better. Mark your calendars now for the 3rd annual Sylvan Heights Chili Cook-Off, March 17, St. Patrick's Day. Plan to come and enjoy the chili or be a contestant - either way you're a winner and the Park wins, too.

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