Chili Cook-Off 2014

posted Feb 11, 2014, 5:50 PM by WMLodge 208   [ updated Mar 8, 2014, 7:16 AM ]

 The 5th Annual Wilmington Lodge Chili Cook-Off was held on Saturday, January 25.  Nine cooks vied for the top honors.

Two chili recipes tied for first place.  Ron Beyers and Troy Butler received the same number of votes from the chili aficionados.  Each was awarded an engraved soup (chili) ladle and a first place ribbon.  Second place was won by Keith Koca.  Third place went to Steve Medina. 


WM Jeff Cromer presents a ribbon and an engraved ladle to the first place winners (Brother Troy Butler, left, and Ron Beyers, right) in the 2014 Chili-Cookoff after the voters had selected their chili presentations as best in the house.

 In addition to the cooks earning honors, the other competitors included Jim Lestina, George Roesel, Dave Stover, Darla and Bob Neises, and John Persic.

It was fun to taste the different entries.  In my notes I find that one of the entries was made with venison, one had a strong taste of molasses (at least to me), another used a spice that reminded me of pumpkin pie, and another one was heavy with a green pepper flavor.  Last year’s winning entry—a white chicken chili—also appeared again this year.  Different degrees of spiciness were also very apparent. 

Everyone likes what he likes—especially when it comes to chili.  Both my wife and I voted for the entry that was closest to what we usually serve at home—a slightly spicy chili flavored with regular chili powder.  Each of the chili presentations had its own personality.

All the women who attended were entered in a drawing.  Dorothy Locke was the lucky winner of the special door-prize basket.

The Cook-Off was chaired again this year by Brethren Tom Milianti and Tony Collachia.  Helped by the officers, brethren, and family members, Tom and Tony did a great job.  Money earned from the event will be donated to the Wilmington Police Department. 


 WB George Roesel poses behind his almost empty pot of chili.


 Second place winner Brother Keith Koca and his children are shown receiving their award from WM Jeff Cromer.  


Brother Jim Lestina poses with his chili entry.


Brother Dave Stover waits for the votes to be counted. 


WB Bob and Darla Neises are shown at the contestants’ table near the end of the Chili Cook-Off.  Bob has been instrumental in making the Cook-Off a great success.  He was the chairman of the event in its first couple of years and has participated in one way or another ever since.


BrethrenTony Collachia (left) and Tom Milianti stand in the lodge kitchen during the Chili Cook-Off.  Tony and Tom were co-chairmen of the event for the second year. 

WM Jeff Cromer presents Steve Medina with his 3rd place ribbon.  Steve served his fiancée Brianne Cromer’s white chicken chili. 


“Mrs. Locke,” Dorothy Locke chats with two of her former 2nd Graders at the Chili Cook-Off.  Dorothy taught Dave Stover (center) and George Roesel when they were 2nd graders (in different years, of course) at Booth Central School in Wilmington.


Mary, wife of WM Jeff Cromer, shares a moment with WB Bob Neises.  Our wives are the greatest asset in the lodge.  Thank you, Mary, for all you do to help make our lodge successful.


WM Jeff Cromer poses with his daughter.