Hampton library seeks contestants for chili cook off
Whether it’s hot and spicy or smooth and mild, someone in the area is certainly holding a winning chili recipe and what way to better prove it than at the Hampton Library Second Annual Chili Cook off on Jan. 26 at the Hampton Community Center on McCully Road in Allison Park.
The library staff is now looking for chili master entrants to make a gallon of their favorite chili recipe, with hopes of becoming the official master chili winner.
Entry fee is only $10 and deadline to sign up is Jan. 23. No walk-ins allowed.
For those who want to come to the event and test out the dishes, admission is $8 with children younger than 5 free.
Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and tasting is from 3 to 6 p.m.
Suzanna Krispli, director of the library, will be emceeing the event. Last year it raised more than $1,000 for the library.
“It was a lot of fun and I expect it to be a lot of fun this year too. Some families make an evening out of it and others have their friends join them,” said Krispli.
Last year’s judges used the same criteria when tasting — aroma, texture, color, taste and “after taste/bite,” said Krispli.
She was impressed on the variety.
“All the chilis were different — which was amazing. Some were hot, some mild, there was a white chicken chili, an andouille sausage one and a smoked one. There truly was something for everyone to taste,” said Krispli.
Last year’s winner was local entrant Max Hardman, said Krispli. There were 12 chili master entrants last year.
“I would love to see 15, maybe 20,” said Krispli.
Nancy Connolly, a former library board member who is presently very active in the library, was an entrant last year.
“I didn’t win but had a good time,” she said.
She’s going to be chili competing again for this year’s event with a recipe she found in a magazine.
Connolly, who is a member of the Friends of the Hampton Library, said she doesn’t know of any tips to win but just try to appeal to everyone.
First- and second-place winners will be announced at 6:30 p.m., according to the library website. Advanced registration for those coming just for tasting is encouraged but not required.
Chili entrants are also encouraged to decorate their area. Lots of entrants just sat back and relaxed and enjoyed a drink, as guests of legal age are permitted to bring their own alcohol if they wish, she said.
Connolly said the local Texas Roadhouse is once again donating an abundance of rolls and salad for guests as well as baskets to raffle off, all to benefit the library. Music and a bake sale will also be featured.
Also, she noted this falls ahead of the Super Bowl weekend on Feb. 3, so hopefully people will want something to do.
Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.