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2015 Chili Cook-off
Record Attendance - Record Revenue
October 27, 2015

T
hirteen culinary artists competed Saturday for top honors in the annual Chili-Cook-off, a benefit for Oriental’s Old Theater. Vegetarian, chicken, and traditional bean and beef recipes – including Bill Wheeler’s claim of a secret ingredient – were sampled by 300+ spicy food aficionados on a perfect weather day in Oriental. Nelda Coats coordinated this year’s cook-off. She reported an anticipated net of almost $3,000 – a Chili Cook-off record.

Taste bud reactions follow:

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An oft-repeated scene at the Chili-Cook-off, patrons in line for a sample, here, a sample of Camp Don Lee’s vegetarian recipe.
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From the 11 am opening until the 2 pm close, the Cook-off grounds were filled with locals and out-of-towners seeking a gourmet chili sample and a chance to help the Old Theater.
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Bill Wheeler claimed to have included a secret recipe, which remained a secret when the Cook-off came to a close.
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No one discovered if red hair indicated an exclusive use of red peppers.
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John Phillips stirred his pot while Alan Probst portrayed Bob Garner, UNC-TV food critic.
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The Neuse Sailing Association chefs served pineapple as a condiment to what was apparently a Hawaiian-Mexican blend.
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Did his chili give him a taste of “the Bern” or the burn?

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An accompaniment for chili.
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Nelda Coats was so busy facilitating the Cook-off, one wonders if she had time to sample the spicy dishes.
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For those who wonder if four legged creatures appreciate Mexican cuisine, it stands to reason that four-legged creatures are indigenous to Mexico.
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Spicy food creates an array of different reactions. Some tear up.
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Was Pastor Jerry Harper’s reaction an indication of chest pain, or perhaps reverent pause to give thanks.
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Chili with beans can create a number of different gastronomical reactions impacting more than the individual consumer.

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Though pineapple was one condiment available, diced green chili peppers were also offered as a topping.
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Some reactions to a taste test occurred over a longer time frame, allowing the consumer to savor each individual ingredient in the recipe.
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Other reactions were immediate.
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After a taste test, some engaged in reflective discussions about the individual characteristics of the 13 plus varieties that were available.
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Others engaged in group therapy to gauge the potency of the recipes.
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Some patrons tried to coax trade secrets about a white-bean chilli offered by the Pamlico News.

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Ehren Rolle, age 7, was a connoisseur-in-training.
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As a chili-aficionado-in-training, Ehren accepted a little encouragement.
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Axelson Chiropractic provided a model indicating that upon consuming a high concentration of chili, peppers would become the discs between vertebrae in one’s spinal column.
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Al Herlands paid careful attention to the warning by Axelson Chiropractic, something to the effect that if eating this chili produced a side effect of more than four hours of a tingling sensation, the individual should consult a chiropractor.
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And the winners were … big time … Neuse Sailing Association members John Philips and Cyndi Little flank Cook-off Coordinator Nelda Coates, profoundly expressing their glee at winning 1st place, the Peoples’ Choice Award, and the Judges’ Choice Award.
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With reserved dignity and decorum, the Triton Yacht Sales team accepted honors for 1st Runner-up.
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Seacoast Marine – 2nd runner up.

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Nautical Wheelers – Best Mystery Ingredient
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Inland Waterway Provision Co. – Best Brought Forth from Past Generations
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Blue Crab Yacht sales – Just Like Mama’s
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Axelson Chiropractic – Meatiest with the Most Creative Meat – Makes one wonder what meat that was.
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West Marine – Sweetest and Corniest Chili
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The Pamlico News – Best Chicken Chili

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Paradise Cove Marina – Classiest Chefs
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John & Ronda Baker, Out of the box – Bless their hearts, they won “Lord Have Mercy” for the Hottest Chili
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Camp Don Lee – Best Vegetarian
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Toucan Grill – Kid’s Choice for Creamiest Chili

Posted Tuesday October 27, 2015 by Ben Casey


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