08/24/08 — Community Soup Kitchen is looking for best chili cooks

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Community Soup Kitchen is looking for best chili cooks

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on August 24, 2008 12:19 PM

Cooking teams are already signing up to compete in the second annual Really Chili Challenge.

The chili cook-off is held each year in the Center Street Jam parking lot to help support the Community Soup Kitchen of Goldsboro. This year's event will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 25.

For the serious chili chefs, judges will award first-, second- and third-place prizes for the best-tasting chili, said Ann Hunter, the soup kitchen board's Really Chili Challenge publicity chairman.

And for those who just want to have fun, the judges will pick the Best Chili Name and Best Decorated Booth.

Last year, she said, about a dozen teams signed up.

"We didn't know what to expect. It was really more fun than we expected it to be. We had music, and the people who came were real enthusiastic about it," she said.

New this year will be the People's Choice Award. The public will be invited to taste test the chilies for $5 for adults and $3 for children and then vote for their favorite.

Also new this year will be the 2 Hot 2 Trot 5K Road Race, which will begin downtown at 11 a.m., and a one-mile Fun Run, which starts at 10 a.m.

To get an early start, you can pre-register for one of the races the night before at the Flying Shamrock from 6 to 8 p.m. Or if you want to register Saturday morning, volunteers will be signing up runners from 8 to 9:30 a.m. for the Fun Run and 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. for the 5K Road Race. Fees are $25 for the 5K Road Race and $5 for the Fun Run.

To obtain an entry form for your cooking team or for the 5K Road Run, you can go online at www.communitysoupkitchen.org or visit the HealtHabit and the Flying Shamrock. You can also contact Community Soup Kitchen Board Chairman Andrea Heekin at 252-943-1010.

A team can be any size as long as it includes at least two people. Mrs. Hunter said last year most of the teams had four or five members.

After your team signs up, plan to meet at the Center Street Jam parking lot at 8 a.m. for final instructions and set-up. A $50 entry fee for each team includes one free Really Chili Challenge apron for the team. Additional aprons, T-shirts and hats will also be available for purchase.

You will be assigned a 12-by-12-foot space and provided with a table, sampling cups and utensils. All other equipment like cooking stoves, booths or tents will be the responsibility of the team. And electricity will not be available.

The Really Chili Challenge will be held rain or shine.

Judging and taste tests for the public will start at 11, and the judges will announce the winners at noon.

And if you want to help the soup kitchen but don't like cooking, the board is also looking for sponsors.

"We need to raise $80,000 a year to run the soup kitchen," Mrs. Hunter said. "And we have so many more guests coming to the soup kitchen because of the economy and gas and food costs."

The higher numbers of lunch guests at the soup kitchen began in May, and it remains high, she said.

"In the early spring, we were having about 75 a day, and now, it's been as much as 150."