Cooking for the stars

Staff Report

What’s better than a good warm bowl of chili on a chilly fall day? A group of dancers from the 2018 Dancing With our Stars cast are proudly presenting the “Cooking for the Stars” Chili Cook-off to support the Ohio River Valley American Red Cross and earn votes in their quest for the coveted mirror ball trophy. Sponsored by Burnside Law, LLC, the cook-off is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11 and will be held on Hutchins Street between 11th and 12th Streets in front of Burnside’s office.

Star Dancers Reece Brown, Sean Frazier, Scot Isaac, Sean King, Alisha Schmidt and Brian Stephenson are organizing the family-friendly event, so plan to bring the kids for an afternoon of camaraderie, food and entertainment. A Kids Zone will be available with inflatables, face painting, crafts from the Happy Pot, a visit from the Super Heroes and more kid-friendly activities.

There are two ways to participate in the Chili Cook-off; either as a competitor or a consumer.

The chili cook-off is a great opportunity for area businesses, families and friends to have fun together. Contestants may enter one of two divisions. The Professional Division, which is open to the chef who gets paid to prepare for others including restaurants, universities and caterers; or the Amateur Division, which is open to the home cook. Entry into the Cook-off is $25 per team and increases to $40 on October 23rd. Entries close on November 1st and are limited to the first 25 received at the local Red Cross office. Each team should have one head cook and may have up to three assistant cooks. Each head cook is responsible for preparing at least five gallons of chili for judging and tasting.

The Official Judges will select the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place winners in each division while the general public attending the event will vote for their favorite chili by tasting a sample from each cook. Former Portsmouth resident, Dave Hatcher, his wife Georgia and daughter Jodi McKinley, all of Columbus and former winners in numerous cook-offs presented by the International Chili Society and the Kidney Foundation across the country, will be joined by several local celebrities will to serve as judges.

One of the most important award categories of the Chili Cook Off is the People’s Choice Award.

The General Public is encouraged to come out and taste all of the wonderful chilies put together by cooks of all experience levels. Teams are encouraged to name their chili and decorate their booth to be entered into the competition for the Best Decorated Booth. Additional awards along with a “Jalapeño Eating Contest” and music and entertainment from the main stage promise for a fun-filled afternoon.

Teams will have one hour to set up, an hour to prepare the items to be included in their chili followed by three hours cooking time before the tasting begins at 1:00 p.m. Taster Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate which opens to the general public at 11:00 a.m. Tickets for children 12 and under are $5.00 each. Tasters will receive a wristband (No wristband, no taste) along with a score card to judge their favorite chili, the booth with the most spirit, the booth with the best service and the hottest chili.

Sponsorships are still available and VIP tickets for the Mirror Ball Garden can also be purchased for $25 per person by contacting one of the dancers, the Red Cross office at 1801 Robinson Avenue, or or online at EventBrite. Additional information and entry forms are available by calling the Red Cross office at 740.354.3293 or on Facebook

“We encourage everyone to treat their taste buds to some of the best chili in Southern Ohio.

Come rain or shine, the cook-off supports the Red Cross as well as the Boneyfiddle Project under the direction of Robert Black,” said Debbie Smith, Community Director of the Ohio River Valley American Red Cross. “We encourage everyone to get their chili tickets and meet the Stars and taste the excitement!” said Black. With plenty of tasty chili, great food & drink, a spirited Kids Zone, and live music & entertainment on the main stage, “Cooking for the Stars” offers something for everyone while raising money for two worthy non-profits that support our local community.

Staff Report