A chili cook-off for a good cause

Nancy Hough, Bowls & Brews co-chair serving chili to the guest. Captured by Darylin Smith

The Episcopal Church of The Advent celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. weekend Saturday as it raised funds for diversity scholarships with the second annual Bowls & Brews Chili Cook-Off.

Warm welcomes and warm bowls — the Bowls & Brews Chili Cook-Off had both. The congregation of the Episcopal Church of The Advent created an atmosphere full of hospitality with a variety of chili, cornbread, brews and desserts.

Nancy Hough, a member of Advent and co-chair of Bowls & Brews, organized the event.We had the event last year and we had so much fun that we decided to continue it again this year. It benefits the diversity scholarship for our day school parish. We were motivated to find a way to make the community aware and involved,” Hough said.

It was a tasty competition and a creative way to fundraise for a good cause. Hough describes the arrangement of the competition.

“We will have an overall winner and a runner-up. Our guests vote for a winner; they will be given a black voting spoon and each team will have a red ballot box, once they have tasted the chilis they want they will put that spoon in the ballot box of their favorite. Once voting is over, we will tally them all up and crown the winners,” Hough said.

Almost two dozen chefs were competing in the chili cook-off.

Jack and Brenda Thompkins serving their non-traditional chili at Bowls & Brews. Photo by Darylin Smith

Jack and Brenda Thompkins participated in the chili cookout for the first time.

“We aren’t members of the church, but we wanted to fundraise. My wife works at Florida State University and some of her co-workers got her into it,” Jack Thompkins said.

There was an abundance of chefs serving chili with a variety of styles ranging from the classic chili with meat to vegan. Brenda Thompkins said her chili is different from the rest of the competition.

“Non-traditional no tomato base,” she said.

The competitors weren’t the only ones enjoying the fun. The taste testing guest were all smiles as they enjoyed their chili.

Susan Schuern, a Bowls & Brews attendee, explained why she chose to attend the event.

“I am a member of Saint John’s Episcopal and my husband noticed it in the paper, and he thought it would be fun. We live close by, it’s a good cause and we love chili. There was nothing bad about it,” Schuern said. “(It was) very well organized from the ingredients to the numbers and the very professional announcer. The atmosphere is very friendly, it’s for a good cause, and everyone is in a good mood.”

For more information on the event http://www.advent-church.org/