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2021 Old Theater Chili Cookoff
14 chefs, 300 plus patrons, and 70 gallons of chili
October 28, 2021

S
eventy gallons of chili. Spicy chili, bourbon chili, chili with meat and chili without. It was all up for the tasting at the Annual Old Theater Chili Cookoff, Saturday, October 23.

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Chili ready to go at the Arlington Place table.

Some 300 patrons descended on the grounds of the Oriental Marina & Inn to taste-test their way through fourteen different chilis. Interest was high this year, but three would-be chefs were turned away; there were more willing chefs than available space.

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The chefs of Abra-No-Cadava vegetarian chili won the 1st place Spirit Award dressed as characters from the movie ‘Hocus Pocus’.

The event, a fundraiser for the Old Theater, brought in over $3,000. Awards were given for the top three spots in three categories: People’s Choice, Judges’ choice, and the Spirit (or best looking/most festive table) Award.

People’s Choice Awards:
  • 1st Place: Oriental Deli & Subs
  • 2nd Place: Double Trouble Chili
  • 3rd Place: Amma’s Chili
Judges’ Choice Awards:
  • 1st Place: Oriental Deli & Subs
  • 2nd Place: Southeast Pamlico Volunteer Fire Department Station 19
  • 3rd Place: Arlington Place
Spirit Award:
  • 1st Place: Abra-No-Cadava Vegetarian Chili
  • 2nd Place: Southeast Pamlico Volunteer Fire Department Station 19
  • 3rd Place: Amma’s Chili

Oriental Deli took home both top prizes for People’s & Judges’ Choice. It’s not the first time; they did it back in 2018, too.

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Every winner gets a trophy decorated with a dragon.
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Decorations made use of everything from skeletons to gnomes.
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There were no reports of voting irregularities.
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Different chilis: Vegetarian Chili from the Oriental Food Initiative & Provision Company, Bourbon Chili from Arlington Place, and Amma’s people choice chili.
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Amma’s Chili had a toppings bar.
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It seemed the chili inspired dance.
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Chelsea Smith served it up at the Toucan Bar & Grill’s table.
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They’ve got the chili-winning touch. Oriental Deli has won first for People’s choice for 2021, 2018, 2017, and 2016.
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Assistant Fire Chief Eric Kindle shows off hot chili protective gear.
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The CPR dummy had enough chili and had to go back in the bag.
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Judges gotta judge. Rating the chilis.
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The cookoff scene.
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Cheese and crackers top the chili from Double Trouble Chili.
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Usually, Jim Kellenberger is the one prepping food for the crowds.
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Also serving chili: The Oriental Food Initiative and Inland Waterway Provision Company, Dr. Roscoe’s World Famous Chili Elixir, and Amma’s Chili.

Posted Thursday October 28, 2021 by Allison DeWeese


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