Chili heats up Ice Fest in Chambersburg

February 05, 2006|By BONNIE H. BRECHBILL


The entries in Chambersburg's third annual Chili Cook-off were so hot, their fumes melted the ice sculptures on Main Street, according to one participant.

Clint Bolte, a volunteer with the YMCA chili cook-off team, said the ice sculptures at Ice Fest 2006 were melting not because of the warm weather, but because "people from the chili cook-off were out there breathing on them."

Judging the 12 entries behind a closed curtain Saturday were seven local luminaries who cleansed their palates with water, buttered bread, grapes and oyster crackers between bites.

State Rep. Rob Kauffman said his qualification to be a judge is "a refined palate. That last (sample) was pretty hot, but I haven't had to run out yet."


Kevin Grant, who works at Target Distribution Store, had impeccable credentials for his role as a judge.

"I lived in Texas for three years and I like to eat a lot," Grant said.

Chambersburg Borough Police Chief Michael DeFrank, who can cook chili, said he was "having a wonderful time. I really like chili, and this is fun."

Besides the obvious qualification of actually being a judge, Franklin County Judge Douglas Herman was eminently qualified for his role because he is "a chili monster. I make it, and I eat it like an Electrolux vacuum cleaner." Herman was the sole chili judge last year.

Occupational Services Inc. entered Uncle Lucky's 3-Bean Chili, made with ground beef, Italian sausage, pork, venison, and kidney, lima and navy beans.

Dave Sharer, staff member at OSI, said that he and his friends combined several recipes to come up with the combination. OSI clients Ryan Baer and Sarah Wenger helped to serve the 12 gallons of chili.

Last year's winners, the Chambersburg YMCA team, made the same recipe with a few modifications this year.

"It's the best you'll ever eat," Steve Sheppard told people as he ladled up samples. "Humility is an ingredient in Y chili." Sheppard's wife, Michele, is the assistant executive director at the YMCA.

"It's good. It's a little hot for my taste," said Betty Thompson of Fayetteville, Pa., who attended with her husband, Jack.

Two teams of students from the Franklin County Career and Technology Center competed against each other in the cook-off. Team A made Ambush Chili, which has ground pork and beef and no beans.

"It has cumin and lots of other spices. It's not too mild or too spicy," said Tyreeya Yearby, 15, of Chambersburg, a first-year student at the center.

The team worked to prepare their entry all week.

"We tested four recipes, and this is the one we finally picked," said Cindy Hopper, 17. Brock Tindall, 16, of Chambersburg, also was on the team.

Winners of the event were:

First Place Professionals -

Family Traditions Lighthouse, chef Tony Sherman with Man Fuel Chili.

First Place Nonprofessionals -

Terry Carr with Steak Chili.

Second Place Nonprofessionals -

Chambersburg YMCA.

People's Choice -

Chambersburg YMCA.

Best Booth -

Leo Club of J. Frank Faust Junior High School in Chambersburg.

Sherman's Man Fuel Chili includes steak, burger, beans, jalapenos, habaneros and assorted chili peppers.

The Leo Club's booth was decorated with cactuses, lights and the flags of Central and South American countries. T

heir efforts will benefit Women in Need.

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