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It was 'chili' at the stadium on Saturday

September 25, 2005|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

tiffanya@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN

Chocolate, Mexican beer and a few other spices Andrea Rowland refused to divulge were what made her chili stand out Saturday at the Hagerstown Suns Chili Cook-off & Music Festival.

"I like a rich chili," said Rowland, a contestant in the chili contest. "I don't want to burn myself on chili. I want to enjoy it."

Rowland's team was one of 27 teams that participated in the second annual cook-off at Municipal Stadium. Along with food, the event featured performances from six local bands, including Basement and Saving Lisa.

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The $1,000 top prize went to "TNT It's Tailgat'n Time." "Gas N Go" took second place and "Pumpkin and Honeybunny's Chili" took third.

The People's Choice award went to "Chili Cowboys." "Hillbilly Chili" took second place and "Hawaiian Hobo" was third.

Proceeds for this year's cook-off will go to the Washington County Arts Council. Kevin Moriarty, executive director of the council, said the money will be given as grants to area organizations.

"Food is one of the most creative forms of art, didn't you know?" Moriarty said.

Judges scored the chili on aroma, consistency, appearance and taste.

"I like subtlety," said Del. Christopher B. Shank, one of the four judges. "I like to see that there is something a little complicated there."

"TNT" cook Terry Carr of Greencastle, Pa., said he wanted his chili to have a "layered" taste.

A hint of brown sugar was evident among the flavors of sweet peppers and spice. The steak and blend of dry seasonings gave the chili a rich, hearty feel.

"I like a chili that's between a soup and stew," Carr said. "I feel you should be able to eat that chili and let it stand alone without having to grab a piece of bread or a drink."

Carr said he entered the contest at the suggestion of family members, who he said loved to eat his chili. He said his recipe was only months old.

Rowland said her four-person team started cooking Saturday at 5 a.m.

"I think we were cooking in our sleep," she said.

Contestants did everything they could to stand out at this year's contest.

Jennifer Thomas of Sharpsburg put a hint of ginger in her white chili for a little kick.

Chris Hertzler of Chambersburg, Pa., amped up his chili with habanero and jalapeo peppers. A few dollops of his homemade spicy pepper sauce turned up the heat even more.

First-time contestant Matt Gladhill of Clear Spring said he entered the contest for fun, but knows what to expect next year. He said he added mushrooms to his traditional chili recipe.

Chili lovers Brook Jolliffe and Kristin Harpster, both of Hagerstown, said they like their chili spicy and came out for food and fun.

"Hagerstown needs to have more events like this," Harpster said.

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