St. Al’s Chili Cook Off
by Monica Hormuth
On Saturday, January twenty-seventh St. Alphonsus parish held their fifth annual chili cook off. After winning last years cook off, I decided to enter again. Every year they have a different theme that you base your decorating on, and this year they chose Grand Rapids to be the main theme.
Now, I don’t know about you, but whenever I think of Grand Rapids, I think of cherries, maple syrup and Yesterdog. Yesterdog is a restaurant that serves chili dogs and was also used in a series of films. Whenever my family is in town, we always stop by and grab a few chili dogs for lunch. On Friday, as me and my parents were discussing a recipe to use , and my mom brought up that one of my grandmas had a chili recipe that was used on most hot dogs.
With this in mind, we ran to the store to buy the ingredients. We borrowed a roasters from my grandma and got started. Since my mom had a crossfit competition on Saturday, we left the hamburger to cook at home. Once back at my house, we added the rest of the ingredients and cut up some vegetables to use as condiments so people could make it like a perfect chili dog. Since the theme was Grand Rapids, my dad and I found a baseball cap and a shirt from the Michigan blood drive that he did a while back. After everything was cooked, we headed out for the church. One of the most nerve wracking things was we thought it spilled in the back of his SUV as we rounded a sharp corner, but luckily it didn’t and everything was fine.
Once inside the parish center, we got our table set up and everything plugged in. I was the youngest there, but when I stepped inside, I was basically considered an adult. I had ‘beef’ with a few people who lost last year and, thanks to my dad, I now had a feud with another person whom he was good friends with. We had a little time before they allowed people in, so we went around and tried other chilis and soups. There were some really good ones, and I was getting kind of nervous. Luckily, once they let people in, I was fine. I had many people come up for seconds, and even thirds!
Overall, the night was amazing, and everybody was extremely nice. Around eight o’clock they called the chefs up on stage to give out the prizes. Everybody got a gift card to a restaurant called Electric Cheetah and a thank you note. For people’s choice I came in second, but I came in first for judge’s choice. It’s always cool to see how well I do and find ways to improve my culinary skills for next time and even beyond that, but I can’t take all the credit.
My dad had a huge role in this by helping me cook the food and add the right amount of servings to make it taste amazing! He plays a major role not only in the cook offs, but in my life by helping me be my best and put my best foot forward, so a massive thank you to him and to everybody who has helped me this far. You mean a lot to me.