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Chili cookoff to benefit Hampton Library

| Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, 9:00 p.m.
Barbecued Beef Brisket Chili
Barbecued Beef Brisket Chili
Smoky Chipotle Chili
Smoky Chipotle Chili

There's nothing like a hot bowl of chili to spice up a cold January day, so with that Hampton Community Library is the place to be Jan. 27.

A first-ever chili cook-off will be held courtesy of the Friends of the Hampton Library from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Hampton Township Community Center, said Nancy Connolly, a member of the group.

All chili chefs are encouraged to enter the soupy arena for a low-entry fee of $10, said Connolly. They're hoping for at least 10 entries with no limit to how many can cook off.

Competitors will be asked to bring one gallon of chili along with any necessary accompaniments or condiments, she said.

Applications are available at the library or via its website and deadline to enter is Jan. 24.

Admission for chili taste-testers is $5 in advance or $8 at the door, said Connolly. They'll be given a 2-ounce cup for each chili entry. A Mason jar will be provided at each chef's creation where tasters will place a provided coin for their favorite. Those with the most coins will be the winner for the People's Choice Award and a panel of local celebrity chefs will also pick a favorite based on flavor, texture, aroma and color.

Rules are that chili, which should not be made from can or complete commercial chili mixes, must be made prior to the event. Set up is at 2 p.m., doors open at 3:30 and tasting begins at 4.

Bring chili in a slow cooker (Crock-pot) with an extension cord.

Winners will be announced at 7 p.m.

“It's basically bragging rights,” said Connolly.

Those coming can bring their own beer or wine with corkage fee and water and soda will also be available, she said. The event will feature a basket raffle, bake sale and music.

“It's just something to do and a good time,” said Connolly, adding it's a day before the NFL Pro Bowl so it might provide some handy recipe ideas.

Texas Roadhouse is also providing house rolls with their signature honey cinnamon butter as well as donating two gift baskets filled with food items and coupons for the raffle, she said.

The proceeds will benefit the library, said Connolly, who is signed up to make a family chili recipe.

Suzanna Krispli, director of the library, said fundraisers like these support so much.

“All the fundraising that we do goes directly back into the library,” said Krispli. This includes collections, summer reading programs, children's programs and even the free electronic book and audio downloads for patrons.

When people come to these events it helps pay those bills, she said.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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