10/19/08 — Chili showdown: Good soup, good time, good cause

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Chili showdown: Good soup, good time, good cause

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 19, 2008 2:00 AM


Team captain Dan Wise


Team captain Drew Best

Chili chefs from across Wayne County will be cooking for bragging rights in the Really Chili Challenge to be held Saturday in the Center Street Jam parking lot off Center Street.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Community Soup Kitchen.

At least 15 cooking teams will compete in the second annual cook-off, which will be held from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The challenge is the kitchen's only annual fundraising event.

A "2 Hot 2 Trot 5K Run" for serious runners will start off the day's events, followed by a one-mile fun run.

Judges will announce the cooking winners at noon.

While they are making up their minds, taste testers can enjoy music by Samantha Casey and the Bluegrass Jam from 11 until 11:30 a.m., Madeline Edwards from 1:30 until 2 p.m. and Encore from 2 until 2:30 p.m.

The event will be held rain or shine, organizers said, adding that the first challenge was a great success and that this year's is likely to be even more competitive. Several teams from last year are returning to the second round, such as Wayne Memorial Hospital's team.

The hospital has already held a cook-off of its own to determine who will be on its team for the second round. The team has three members, Executive Chef Keith Pottmeyer, Assistant Chef Carl Judah and the hospital's champion, Drew Best, called the "the chili king of Wayne Memorial Hospital" because, as Pottmeyer put it, "he rules when it comes to cooking chili here."

Best uses his own secret recipe.

"Drew is undefeated here. He wins the hospital cook-offs at such a wide margin, it's getting to where I'm not going to compete against him any more," Pottmeyer said.

Best would not give an inch on his secret chili recipe but did say when the judges walk away, they'll be so satisfied they will want to come back to the hospital's chili booth again and again.

"They'll go to the next booth telling about how good it is here at our booth," he said.

One of the new teams this year represents First Presbyterian Church. The team, called "First Pres," has four members. Team Captain Dan Wise says he and his friends at the church felt challenged to enter the competition to help such a worthy cause.

And of course, he said, he knows his team will win.

"We'll win because our recipe book dates back to the days of Moses," Wise said. "We got the Lord on our side, baby ... We feel after tasting our chili you'll think the Red Sea has exploded in your mouth."

The bacon for first, second and third best tasting chili will be pottery bowls made by former Goldsboro fireman Randy Wright. The People's Choice award prize is also a pottery bowl by Wright. Foot race winners will receive medallions, and there will be other prizes for best name and best decorated booth.