Ron Fryer

Chili Cookoff packs punch for charities

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was a milestone year for the Charity Chili Cookoff.

The cookoff, held annually at the Columbus Community Hall (formerly known as the Knights of Columbus Hall) in Amherstburg, was presented for the 25th time last Saturday night. Organizer Ron Fryer said there were eight teams this year.

Teams, and the charities they were helping, included the Columbus Community Hall (benefiting the K of C), the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, Maria’s Restaurant (benefiting Amherstburg Community Services), Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering (benefiting the United Way), the Artisan Grill (benefiting Amherstburg Community Services), Wolfhead Distillery (benefiting the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission) and Royal LePage (benefiting cancer research).

Fryer said he updated the event several years ago, got rid of the judges and allowed the people to choose the winner. While the participants served the chili, they didn’t necessarily serve their own entry as chili was poured into eight identical serving trays and dished out from those as to keep the competition as fair as possible.

The winners from the 2018 Charity Chili Cookoff were crowned at the Columbus Community Hall Saturday night. From left: Natalie Borrelli and Kirk Churchill from Maria’s Restaurant (third place), Tim and Winston McAllister from the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship MIssion (first place) and Kevin and Court Meloche from the Columbus Community Hall (second place).

“For $10, where are you going to go to sample chili?” asked Fryer. “For $10, where can you go for a night out?”

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission came in first place, the Columbus Community Hall finished second and Maria’s Restaurant came in third.

Mission president Tim McAllister, who served the chili with his son Winston, joked prior to the judging that he was there to win it.

“We’ve won second and third but we never won first,” McAllister said once the results were announced. “We are excited, grateful and thankful that people came out and supported us in this event. It was a lot of fun. I’m glad we were able to win.”

“It’s for a good cause,” added Winston.

The band Rio Michaels performed after the cookoff was concluded. Final totals of what each winning team won was not available at press time.

Mission takes home top prize in K of C rib cookoff

 

By Jonathan Martin

Amherstburg’s Knights of Columbus hall has kept the rainy weather at bay with the taste of a sunny day.

The K of C hosted an amateur rib cook-off, where five pig-loving cooks battled it out for a swine-topped trophy and around 150 people won themselves full stomachs.

The candidates cooked for the judges, while the audience was fed by K of C kitchen staff and volunteers.

Organizer Ron Fryer said the night’s proceeds are going towards repainting the building. He wasn’t able to give a dollar value, but said the night was all in good fun anyway. He said it was a chance for the community to come together and share some good food.

Amherstburg Knights of Columbus Hall "Ted's Team" volunteer Lisa Norris prepares food in the K of C kitchen in Amherstburg.  The K of C hosted an amateur rib cook-off, with Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister winning the night. (Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Amherstburg Knights of Columbus Hall “Ted’s Team” volunteer Lisa Norris prepares food in the K of C kitchen in Amherstburg. The K of C hosted an amateur rib cook-off, with Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister winning the night. (Photo by Jonathan Martin)

“Aside from (Amherstburg) mayor Aldo DiCarlo and my son (Ryan Fryer),” he said. “The judges were all picked straight from the audience.”

The lucky audience members were Tania Fryer, Brad Reaume and River Town Times editor Ron Giofu. The five judges got to get saucy with five different cooks’ offerings, but finally whittled it down to the top three.

Tim DeHetre walked away with third place, Scott Thon earned second and Tim McAllister went home with bragging rights.

“I’m the president of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission,” McAllister explained when asked how he achieved his level of thoracic tastiness. “Lots of people taste my food and they tell me what works and what doesn’t.”

He said cooking is his passion, and it’s one he loves to share. Whenever he works with someone new in the kitchen, McAllister said he picks up a few tips and tricks and adds them to his repertoire.

When asked what those tips and tricks are, he smiled a saucy smile and said, “This is my second win. If I told you, I might not get a third.”

Chili cookoff crowns new champions

 

 

Cindy and George London (second place), Courtney Bondy, Joyce Blackmere, and Denise Stevenson of the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team (first place) and Dorothy Thrasher and Gaetane Lapointe of the K of C Ladies Auxiliary (third place) were the top chili makers.

Cindy and George London (second place), Courtney Bondy, Joyce Blackmere, and Denise Stevenson of the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team (first place) and Dorothy Thrasher and Gaetane Lapointe of the K of C Ladies Auxiliary (third place) were the top chili makers.

By Ron Giofu

 

The annual Charity Chili Cookoff was held Saturday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall with a new champion crowned when it was over.

Out of the ten teams that participated, the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team won top honours with their share of the proceeds going to the Kiwanis Club. Last year’s winner Cindy London came in second place this year with her share of the proceeds going to the River Lights Winter Festival.

Third place went to the K of C Ladies Auxiliary.

“It started out slow but it looks like we sold out,” said organizer Ron Fryer.

The annual Charity Chili Cookoff was held at the Amherstburg Knights of Columbus Hall on Richmond St. Saturday night. Cindy London dishes out some of the ten chilis that were served (left).

The annual Charity Chili Cookoff was held at the Amherstburg Knights of Columbus Hall on Richmond St. Saturday night. Cindy London dishes out some of the ten chilis that were served (left).

In all, there were ten teams competing. Fryer said other teams included Tim and Winston McAllister from the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, Fred Bertrand and Bob Roberts from K of C Council 2110, Carol Charette for the Canadian Diabetes Foundation, Rose and Mary Beneteau from the Catholic Women’s League, Natalie Borrelli and Kirk Churchill from Maria’s for Cystic Fibrosis, Ron Mosienko for Computers for Kids and Tim DeHetre and Dennis Purdie for the House of Shalom.

As was the case last year, there were no judges, but rather the people in attendance decided who the winners were by their ballots. All chili was served in stainless steel dishes so that only a handful of people in the hall knew who was serving which chili as even the participants didn’t know.