The results are in for the Chili for Charity cook off. The Law Office of Charles Hear and the Clay County Popcorn Festival were co-sponsors for the event. Interested parties were to pay a $10 entry fee and provide two gallons of chili to give away to the crowd. It was a no holds barred people's choice competition. All of the precedes will be donated to Riley's Children's Hospital, Burn Unit. The event raised $334.50.
There were eight participants in the competition. Each had a very different version of chili and all of them were good. The competing chilis (in order of location along the stage) were:
Bowers' No Name Chili,
Whitesell's Sweet & Spicy Chili,
Freeman's "Taste for Wren" Chili,
Bertha Bedwell's Green Chili,
Lawrn Bedwell's Colorado Chili,
Hauser's All American Chili,
Perkin's Vegetarian Chili, and
Rochelle Reberger's Reading Chili.
Bowers' No Name Chili was a good meaty well-balanced chili with a little bit of a kick. Whitesell's Sweet & Spicy Chili was very interesting. I like spicy food. This chili reminded me of a Thai dish as both the sweet and fiery spice were well pronounced. Freeman's "Taste for Wren" chili was made for the taste of their child, Wren. It was a sweet chili with very mild spice and a unique flavor.
The entry from my law office was Bertha Bedwell's Green Chili. It contained about 10 pounds of diced pork and green chilies in a thin roux. It was a chili unique to this area with a pleasant mild taste. Lawrn Bedwell's Colorado Chili was the choice for carnivores. It was two gallons of spicy meat held together with a thick red sauce.
Hauser's All American Chili was the only submission where the onions were diced by a real chief. (The entrant's daughter is a chef in Indianapolis and was permitted to dice the onions while watching mom make the chili.) Perkins Vegetarian Chili was another unique submission. It was a tasty variety with a salsa base.
However, the Crowd favorite (and my favorite as well) was Rochelle Reberger's Reading Chili. It was a meaty chili with strong cumin notes. It was well spiced but only mild in peppery heat. Add to that, Mrs. Reberger made an excellent presentation of her dish garnished with her effervescent personality. All other competitors tread upon the field of battle at a disadvantage.
Hauser's All American Chili took third place having gathered $27.38 in donations. Freeman's "Taste for Wren" Chili came in second place having garnered $29.26 in donations. However, far and away, Rochelle Reberger's Reading Chili lead the pack collecting $91.95 in donations to Riley's Children's Hospital; having received three $20 bills and a $10 bill from the sampling public. (I only contributed $1 as I did have a dog in this fight!)
The most heartfelt thanks is offered to all of the contestants who competed in battle chili. Congratulations to all of our winners! Rochelle Reberger stole the show and must be declared the undisputed champion among area chili cooks.
I hope that each of our contestants will be back next year. However, be on guard. All of the competitors have seen each others wares. Who will come out on top next year???