1/22/2013 5:54:00 PM Church's chili cookoff is a gas
Terry Stone, sensei of the Othello School of Karate and a judge at Saturday’s chili cookoff, carefully considers if the current sample will be the winner of the coveted “Golden Bean” award. Photo by Darla Hussey.
The competition was heating up at the Presbyterian Church of Othello Jan. 12, as the first chili cook-off commenced. Cooks stirred and served their chili in the church to the locals who turned out to try the culinary experience. About nine chefs, representing multiple churches throughout Othello, cooked chili for the competition. Their offerings were also sent to the three judges, who tasted each sample and picked out which pot would earn its owner the top prize, the Golden Bean Award. This year, that title went to Kristi Rattray. The judges were John Lackie, a man who leads Community Schools classes and is a local amateur chef, Joe LaRossee, executive chef at Michael's on the Lake in Moses Lake, and Terry Stone, the sensei with Othello School of Karate. There was also a people's choice prize handed out. The church group decided to put on the event as a fundraiser. Each attendee payed a $5 entrance fee, which included tastes of all the different types of chili, a corn muffin, a piece of pie and vanilla ice cream. The money raised was split between participating churches. These churches will use their share of the money for their pet project. They included the local Catholic Church, the Othello Church of the Nazarene and Pine Street Baptist, among others. There was good participation, both in the form of competitors and attendees, Sharon Mobley, one of the organizers of the event, said. In many cases, the shared mission money will go to local missions, going back to people in Othello, she said. Some also went to help people on a national level. January was the perfect month to host the chili cook-off, Mobley said, since the cold weather has people looking for a way to warm up. Attendees included Jean Mills and Bobbie Kegley. They came to the event to support their church, Pine Street Baptist. They had never been to a chili cook-off, they said, and were excited to try out the different types. Frances Parker was a cook representing the Nazarene Church. Her family likes her chili, she said, and a few years ago she sold it at the annual Christmas bazaar at Othello High School. It's nothing fancy, she said, just standard chili. She was excited to try the other types of chili that were brought to the event. Virginia Johnson, the pastor at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, teamed with congregation members Marvin Polacek and Danita Porter to make a three-bean vegetarian chili. It took about four and a half hours to cook up the feast. The cook-off is a great idea, Johnson said. "I like the mission aspect," she said. The money raised by this church will go to their quilters group. The group of quilters create the warm blankets for people in Othello and all over the world. They use the extra funds for batting and shipping these quilts to their recipients, through Lutheran World Relief. This world relief program is a great organization, Johnson said, that helps all kinds of people and is often able to help out victims even faster than the Red Cross.