Well, our 2017 Chili Cook-Off has become a matter of history. The Cook-Off was a great last fundraising event of the year even though the thermometer read below 30 degrees when the earliest teams showed up to begin preparing their recipes. As the day wore on the temperature climbed and the winds decreased. So, when serving began at 12 PM it was a balmy, but perfectly comfortable day for a chili competition. Our seven teams competed head-to-head for multiple awards, including the coveted People’s Choice Award voted on by all of the attendees.
Throughout the afternoon people entered through the museum to receive their ballots and their spoons so they could taste each of the chilies. After they had sampled each team’s recipe they marked their ballots and placed them in the box. At the same time, our illustrious judges were isolated in the Carriage House where they were brought samples of chili to taste and render their opinions. After careful consideration, some repeated tasting and more deliberation, they made their final decisions.
At 2:30 we all learned the results. The Best Theme Chili and Booth was the Opus 1 Team headed up by Mike Steen and Dorothy Round. Next was the professional category. And, the winner of the Best Commercial Chili was Carrot Tree Kitchens with their fantastic Vegetarian Chili entry. Next, one of our one teams from the Watermen’s Museum staff won the Most Original Chili Award with their Seafood Chili recipe containing swordfish, crab, scallops, and shrimp (of course, the museum folks had to cook something related to seafood, right?).
And, then it was time to hear who the judges felt was the overall winner of the contest. You guessed it. As the headline reads: “Team from Ye Olde Tidemill Wins!” We must give credit where credit is due. Their chili was fantastic. Maybe, their meat smoker added that little extra kick to make them the winners. Or, maybe they have a secret ingredient they aren’t sharing with anyone. Who knows? But, we must also tell you this is a repeat award for this team. They were last years winner and defending champions.
Finally, the time had come for announcing the winner of the People’s Choice Award. The voting public clearly indicated their top choice with their votes. Guess what – the winner of the most prized award also went to the Ye Olde Tidemill team. It was a clean sweep of the top two awards.
Congratulations and Thank You to all of the teams that participated. All of the recipes were delicious. And, a special thanks to Lou Vangieri for the wonderful music of the LCV Project. They are always supporters of our events. Everyone’s participation helped make this a great year-end fundraiser for the Museum. We can’t thank you enough. Thanks also to everyone that braved the chilly temps for some great chili. For those of you that missed it…don’t be too distraught. We’re going to have our 14th Annual Chili Cook-Off next November. We’ll see everyone there.
(As soon as I figure out how to get the pics off a cell phone, we’ll post a few for you to see.)