First Reformed UCC in Hamburg held its 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off on Feb. 3 following its worship service.

Pastor Darryl Hamm started the Chili Cook-off last year to raise money for the church building fund. Everyone enjoyed the many chili dishes and the fun so it returned for a second year and will continue as an annual fundraiser for the church’s community involvement committee.

This year there were 12 cooks who entered the competition and who provided 14 different varieties of the dish. Interestingly they all tasted different even though most were made with the same basic ingredients. Only three of the entries were a spicy hot variety with the rest being a mild version. This is almost the exact opposite of last year. All were very good which made it difficult for the tasters to “vote” on their favorite.

The votes were made by the tasters placing dollar donations in the basket of their favorite dish. More than $300 was raised thanks to the almost 60 tasters participating. Of course, there was some friendly competition among the cooks but all in fun. (Who knew the members of the church choir are so competitive?)

Trophies were awarded to the winners (those with the most “votes”) in each of the two categories – Mild and Tasty, and Hot and Spicy. The winners in 2018 were Toby Wolber for his Hot and Spicy chili and Jordyn Crespo was the winner in the Mild and Tasty category. They both defended their championship status. This year Jordyn won again for her Mild and Tasty chili. Toby nobly relinquished his champion status to Jessica Conlin, this year’s winner for her Hot and Spicy chili. Congratulations to our new winners!

It was also Scout Sunday so the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of Troop 120 joined the church for the luncheon. The Scouts even surprised the group by bringing dessert! We thank the boys and their leaders for the goodies and especially for joining us. They helped make the second year of the contest more fun than the first.

Plan on joining us next year and bring their friends and more delicious chili recipes. This cook-off is a great way to spend a “chili”, wintry day.

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