Hot competition: Chili feed at annual cook-off

February 2016 Posted in Food & Drink

By Melissa Wagoner

The competition is heating up between organizations participating in Silverton United Methodist Church’s second annual Chili Cook-off. Several teams are entered including last year’s champion, Silverton Health.

Last year’s Chili Cook-off was a huge success serving more than 100 bowls of chili and earning $800 for Silverton Area Community Aid. Organizers are hoping this year will be an even bigger triumph. Money raised will go to another worthy cause, the After School Activities Program.

The Chili Cook-Off is Tuesday, Feb. 9, 5 to 7 p.m. at the church, 203 W. Main St. There is a $5 suggested donation.

Donna Eberle, who is organizing the event, said Silverton United Methodist was one of the four founding churches that helped provide start-up funds for the After School Activities Program or ASAP, for middle school students.

The event will have a Mardi Gras theme including costumes and masks. Last year there was a surprise entrance by Silverton Fire District. “There was a feeling by some of the organizers that a second [trophy] should have been awarded for ‘best entrance.’ That trophy would have gone to the Silverton Fire District who brought its chili into the building in formation led by a bagpipe player,” Eberle said.

Both Silverton Fire District and Silverton Health plan to return with their own unique recipes to feed the crowd.

Elizabeth Bohnstedt, the director of guest relations at Silverton Health, describes the recipe their team’s executive chef has concocted as “a Cowboy Open Range Chili with beans” and “smoky and savory flavors.”

The Silverton Fire District’s chili is going to be a joint effort between its staff and volunteers, Capt. Jerry Shiffer said.

“Our recipe is considered a sweet/hot chili and yes, we do have a few secret ingredients, which shall remain secret.”

Two new competitors will be joining in, the Silverton Senior Center and the Silverton School District’s Culinary Arts Program.

The Chili Cook-off winners are chosen by attendees who vote for their favorite.

“For a minimum donation of $5 per meal, guests can taste and vote on the four chili entrants.  They also receive a Silverton United Methodist chili meal that includes a bowl of chili that can be topped with cheese or onions. Crackers, French bread, and a beverage will be available as well as the choice of desserts,” Eberle said.

“A donation also includes the opportunity to play Bingo and choose from a variety of prizes if you are a winner. This is an event for the whole family.”

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