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Chili Cookoff announces cooks

Posted on 04/11/11

ASHEBORO, NC - There will be 17 cooks whipping up their special recipe during the Old Time Chili Cookoff. The event will be held on Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Bicentennial Park in downtown Asheboro.

This is the third year for the chili event. Several of the cooks have participated before, but most have not. It is free to attend, but people wanting to taste and vote will have to purchase a $5 wristband. Tasting will be held from 12:30 p.m. until the chili is gone.

Cooks have been preparing the past several weeks on how to make ten gallons of chili. Some are making one big pot; others are making ten individual ones. The bottom line is the end product has to have the right flavor, texture, color and aroma.

The Grand Prize is $600, with $400 for second place. The People's Choice and Best Showmanship awards are $200 each.

CONTESTANTS

Charles Fowler - "Charlie's Chili" - 2009 and 2010 People's Choice Winner | Charlie is the lead mechanic at Starpet and has been cooking since he was 8 years old. He loves to cook and win. His goal is to take home the People's Choice and the Grand Prize this year.

Danny Tyson - "Yesteryear's Chili" Danny is a park ranger at the NC Zoo and EMT with Piedmont Triad Ambulance and Rescue. He has repeatedly won First Place at the annual NC Zoo Chili Cookoff. He came in second after tying in 2010 for the grand prize award at the Old Time Chili Cookoff. He loves this event because it brings his two passions together - old cars and chili.

James McKenzie - "Randolph County Chili" James is retired from Goodyear but drives for RCATS during the day. He provides a valuable service to seniors and persons with disabilities, taking them to doctors appointments and helping them with errands.

Julie Moore - Sentry Fire Protection's "Five Alarm Chili" Julie owns Sentry Fire Protection Co, Inc. and understands how too much fire can hide flavor. Her family has encouraged her to enter this event because her chili. She says she has worked to find the balance between flavor and heat.

Kevin Walton - Sgt. Kevin Walton manages the criminal interdiction team (CIT) for the Randolph County Sheriff's Department. He knows how to search a car and never knows what he will find. He relaxes mixing up the ingredients for chili. He cooks it year ‘round just because it's fun to do and tastes good.

Kim Jarmon - "Almost Hot" - 2010 Grand Prize Winner | Kim is a cook at McPherson's Bar & Grill in Randleman and was last year's grand prize winner for the Old Time Chili Cookoff. He uses his own line of spices has taken home a second place award at Hagenstone Park and third place at the Harley-Davidson chili cookoffs.

Michele Wilkins - "Savor the Flavor Chili" Michele owns Savor the Flavor Catering company and was a judge in the 2010 Old Time Chili Cookoff. A longtime cook, she has been debating about which kind of chili to present on April 16. Will it be a vegetarian faire?

Mike Smith and Alex Bridgeman - "Secret Family Recipe Chili" Cookoff partners Mike Smith and Alex Bridgeman are sponsored by Triad Corregated Metal. Their recipe includes some jalapeño and habanera peppers, so it may have a little heat to it. Bridgeman is a professional drummer and has performed with a number of Triad bands. He grew up eating this chili.

Paul Stefannici - "Sweet Scream Chili" Paul says his chili is "scary good!" With strong Italian heritage, he says everyone in his family loves his chili. It becomes a family project and if they could add the kitchen sink into the list of ingredients, they would!

Ramona Dula and the Randolph County Republican Women - "GOP Firecracker Chili" Ramona works with the Century 21Wilson Realty Group in Asheboro. She says her medium hot recipe will have a little heat to it. "It's not going to burn your butt off, but hot enough to break a sweat," she says. Her church members like it when she cranks up the heat a little.

Randy Simmons - "Back Creek Longhorn Chili" Randy works at night for Fed Ex and raises longhorn beef cattle during the day. He says that when it's been cold at night, he's had a pot of homemade chili waiting on the drivers when they return. He says they've encouraged him to enter his soul warming recipe because they love it so much.

Rebecca Briles - "RB's Bowl o' Red Chili" Rebecca is the District Representative for Congressman Howard Coble. She's been eating a lot of her own chili to be a spicy dancer on June 4 for the Dancing with the Randolph Stars and is the president of Asheboro Rotary.

Ricky Jordan - "Quality Alarm Chili" Ricky uses a 30-pound cast iron pot and slowly stirs his ingredients together. He participates in a number of chili cookoffs across the Triad and is a popular participant in events with CUOC, churches and Relay for Life.

Robert Poe - "A Woman Scorned" Robert owns Carolina Toner Supply and Office Warehouse in Asheboro and is a war veteran. His mother taught him how to cook when he was very young and living in New Orleans. He developed a passion for cooking, especially chowders, chilies, gumbo, and curries. His chili sounds hot, but he plans to tone it down a bit for the chili cookoff.

Ruthe Nordan - "Spontaneous Combustion" Ruthe works at Randleman Middle School and cooks in the cafeteria. She loves making the lasagna there and says her school still serves up those famous, delicious yeast rolls every public school child has grown to love. She's looking forward to competing.

Tammy Mustain - "Chicken Chili" Tammy is chief cook and bottle washer for her family. She's making a chicken chili. In the mid 80s, she worked with KFC in California where chicken chili was on the menu. She loved it and incorporates some of that process into her recipe.

Tonia Davis and Amvets Post 905 Ladies Auxiliary - "Basic Training Chili" Tonia works at Emerson Et Cie in High Point. Her father, uncles and other family members were military veterans, so she has been the president of the Amvets post for the past three years. Her spare time is spent helping veterans. She says that her post just lost their last remaining WWII vet in March. "We need to be spending time with them," she says.

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