Chili 11 19MADISONVILLE, Ky. (11/19/17) — More than a dozen crocks of chili lined the tables at Farmer’s Market this week, but only one community champion walked off with the traveling trophy for the best-tasting creation.

The main goal of the United Way of the Coalfield Chili Cook-Off was to raise funds to help others in need. For $5, several patrons streamed into the Hopkins County Fairgrounds to check out what contestants offered, ranging from sweet, mild concoctions and habanero blends to peppery chicken-flavored specialties.

Madisonville Fire Department Lt. Alex Smith seized Friday’s contest with his three-alarm chili embellished with potatoes. He finished ahead of his superior — one of the event’s previous champs — MFD Chief Ray Wyatt.

Smith was all smiles as the top prize was handed off.

Wyatt took second in stride, saying he included his own habanero peppers. MFD Major John Dunning also got in on the action, noting he decided to cook white chili to offer something different.

“It’s actually a couple of recipes off Pinterest, and I kind of combined them,” Dunning said.

When Mayor David Jackson visited the firefighter’s table, he didn’t hesitate to take advantage of the Tums handouts.

Local radio personality Rick Stevens took third place.

“I’ll have to say, my wife made that chili, and she deserves all the honor,” he said.

Kathy Peyton, a local banker, whipped up her chili using homemade tomato juice and sauce that was hard to lose interest in.

Big Brothers Big Sisters public relations manager Kayla Duncan made white chili with four different kinds of peppers and chicken that also pleased the palette. Public Works Department workers Kerri Fletcher and Stephanie Gipson doled out some sweet and spicy chili along with peppermints on the side for breath fresheners afterward.

County Clerk Keenan Cloern was a crowd pleaser with her mild, fiesta chili that included shredded cheese and sour cream.

If there had been a best-dressed category, Sheriff Matt Sanderson, hand-dipping his two-bean and medium heat dish to crowd tasters, would have won that category. He was wearing a special made brown apron with an embroidered sheriff’s star.

“I’m the chili cooker at our house,” he said. “My mom taught me how to cook and clean. The firemen were down here saying it was good, but theirs is really hot and they have the fire extinguisher down there.”

Melanie Tapp of The Paragon dished out some mild and sweet chili, saying the event attracted a great crowd.

“It’s stayed pretty steady, and I’ve tried to sneak off and try everybody’s chili,” she said.

The cooler weather did not appear to affect those present as they were received with warm welcomes.

Three local organization presidents — Joe Blue of the Chamber of Commerce, Ray Hagerman from Economic Development Corp. and Cindy Kelley of Madisonville Community College judged the contest using a numbers system to identify entrants.

Chili 11 19 2

Doreen Dennis
SurfKY News Director
Region 2

 

 

 

 

 

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