Chili cook-off a ‘hot’ stop

Acting President Terri Agee samples 8-Track Chili at the annual chili cook-off, coordinated by Elisa Bryant, alumni relations coordinator and leader of this years United Way campaign.

Courtesy Photo

Acting President Terri Agee samples ‘8-Track Chili’ at the annual chili cook-off, coordinated by Elisa Bryant, alumni relations coordinator and leader of this year’s United Way campaign.

Colby Williams

Following the aroma of spicy meat and beans last Monday took Missouri Southern students and faculty to the chili cook-off on the first floor of the Billingsly Student Center.

For the second year in a row, Elisa Bryant, alumni relations coordinator and leader of this year’s United Way campaign, collaborated with the Alumni Association to coordinate the cook-off.

“We wanted to kick off Homecoming Week with something and thought this was the best way,” Bryant said. “Next year we want more people involved, so put it down for the Monday of Homecoming Week.”

Two individuals, two organizations and two offices entered chili this year for the three judges to taste. Any students or faculty members who paid a dollar also got a chance to vote. Proceeds went to the United Way.

“Get the fixins, but taste around them on the first go,” said Stephen Thiele, a participant and junior undeclared major, on his strategy for judging chili. “I think some of these could use some improvements in the toppings area, some variety.”

From the “8-Track Chili,” made with venison, to the “Varsity Vegan Chili,” which contained peanut butter and chocolate bars, this year’s recipes offered tasters a wide variety of flavors.

Melanie Epperson, the secretary of the student activities department, thought the best approach was to stick close to a traditional recipe without all the flare.

“People around here are generally sissies,” Epperson said. “So you have to keep the kick out.”

Also, the cooking experience of the chefs was as diverse as the contents of the crock-pots. Krista Stark, a graduate student studying communication and sociology, cans her own spaghetti sauce, which is craved in some circles. This was her second year in the cook-off.

“They wanted me to just make my sauce and call it ‘Spaghetti Red’, but I wanted to make chili,” Stark said. “I made it a little spicier this year, but chili is supposed to be spicy!”

This year’s winners were “Cabalicious Chili” for the best name, “8-Track Chili” for the best presentation, and “Memphis Style Chili” made by Sodexho Food Services for the best tasting chili and overall champion. The winning chef received a crock-pot and the winners for best name and best presentation won an assortment of kitchenware.