Wednesday, May 23, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio


Who'll make the chili of choice?


Chef William Richardson of Poco Piatti approves of an entry during last year's cook-off.


There's a new month and a new location for the Great Chili Cook-Off, but the entries promise to be as delicious as ever.

Chili-making teams will compete from noon to 6 p.m. tomorrow in the 12th annual Mobile Meals of Toledo benefit in the Stranahan Great Hall. In recent years, the cook-off had been held in June at Westfield Shoppingtown Franklin Park.

The theme of this year's event, "Catch the Chili Fever," follows the theme of the musical Saturday Night Fever, which runs through Sunday in the adjacent Stranahan Theater.

Competitions take place in four categories: local media teams from noon to 2 p.m.; restaurants (including Flamin' Pit BBQ, the Toledo Zoo, Max and Erma's of Maumee, and Pepe's Mexican Restaurant), noon to 4 p.m.; and amateur teams and corporate teams, 2 to 6 p.m.

Celebrity judges, chefs, and food experts will select the Judges' Choice winners in each category. And those attending the cook-off will choose the People's Choice winners. In addition, Great Chili Pepper awards for booth design will be given by judges.

Entertainment will feature Glass City Sound DJ, and St. John The Baptist Youth Group will operate a children's activity area with face-painting, games, and crafts.

Among the cooking demonstrations by chefs during the afternoon are Chicken Veracruz with a Southwest flavor by chef Doug Corcoran of Mercy Health Partners (2:30); ice carving by Chad Hartson of Ice Creations (5:30); Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken and Vegetables by William Richardson of Poco Piatti (3:30), and Low Carbohydrate Wrap Herb-Crusted Chicken by Chris Bates of Jackson's Lounge and Grill (12:30). In addition, Ron Westfall of Mercy Health Care Center will make Hawaiian Cole Slaw (1:30) and Kelly Weaver of Mercy Health Care Center will prepare Southwest en papillote Salmon, which is salmon baked inside parchment paper (4:30).

The 12th annual Great Chili Cook-Off to benefit Mobile Meals of Toledo takes place from noon to 6 p.m. tomorrow in the Stranahan Great Hall, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. Admission is $2 per person, with children 16 and under admitted for free. Information: 419-255-7806 or

Contact Kathie Smith

or 419-724-6155.

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