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Hundreds Turn Up for a Chili Meltdown
The 2023 Chili Cookoff
October 23, 2023

T
en chefs signed up for Saturday’s Chili Cookoff, the annual Old Theater fundraiser.

More than 400 people showed up to taste, and rate, the chilis on offer. Chefs were competing for three spots in three categories: People’s Choice, Judges’ Choice, and the Spirit Award.

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Ben Chapin serves up vegetarian chili at the Provision Company table.
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Enough for you and your loved one.

Though ten chefs stepped forward, only nine chilis made it into tasters’ mouths.

What happened? A chili pot meltdown. During the setup took out the chef from Garland Fulcher’s. Turns out the propane powered setup he purchased was no match for the heat of the chili; it burned right through the bottom.

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There was only one chili hot enough to burn: the chili from Garland Fulcher. Officer Bill Wichrowski inspects the aftermath.

Due to the large crowd, and long lines, the event was extended until 2p, so everyone had a chance to taste and vote.

The 2023 Chili Cookoff winners are:

People’s Choice:
  • 1st: Marine Corps League Oriental Dragon Detachment
  • 2nd: Oriental Deli & Subs
  • 3rd: Tie between South Pamlico Volunteer Fire Dept. & Oriental First Baptist Church
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One happy Marine holds the first place chili trophy. Last year they took home the participation trophy, this year, they came to win.
Spirit Award:
  • 1st: Maverick’s Amma’s Chili
  • 2nd: Oriental First Baptist Church
  • 3rd: Marine Corps League Oriental Dragon Detachment
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A glimpse into the pot of the South Pamlico Volunteer Fire Department’s vat of chili.
Judges’ Choice:
  • 1st: Triton Yachts
  • 2nd: Oriental Deli & Subs
  • 3rd: Tie between the Toucan Grill & Fresh Bar & South Pamlico Volunteer Fire Dept.

Next year’s Chili Cookoff is October 19, 2024.

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Maverick’s Amma’s came prepared with baked goods, too – carrot cake muffins were on sale at the baked goods table.
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A platter of chilis already rated, and chilis waiting to be tasted.
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Teresa Caroon accepts the second place Spirit Award from Channel 12 News meteorologist Donnie Cox.
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Cornbread muffins and Triton’s Chili – it took first place Judges’ Choice for the second year in a row.
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Part of the winning Maverick’s Amma’s Chili team.
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Award winning chili from the Marines – though judges contested that real chili is not white.
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It’s good to travel in groups, especially when your hands are full and help is needed.
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Old Theater volunteer Ron mans the baked goods table.
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Tim Jalbert of the Oriental Deli checks off a tasters’ card.
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John Kaplan hands out a cup.
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One attendee feels a little left out, but remains hopeful that some chili might fall to the ground.
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Toni Leavitt digs in while Bob Miller chooses chili toppings.
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On display – the chili trophies.
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Angels at the Baptist Church table – some more active than others.
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Oreintal Deli went with the frontier spirit – dressing up their table as a chuck wagon.
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Maverick’s Amma’s Chili goes all out with the chili decorations.
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The Toucan Bar & Grill keeps the cups full and ready for those in line.
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Laughing as they collect their trophies – it was a 3rd place tie between the angels of Oriental Baptist Church and the South Pamlico Volunteer Fire Department.

Posted Monday October 23, 2023 by Allison DeWeese


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