Bridges First Annual Chili Challenge Cook-Off

Nothing gets amateur chefs simmering under their aprons like a good, old fashioned chili cook-off. The Mitchell County Bridges Mentoring Program held our first annual chili challenge on Sunday November 1st 2015. The event was held at the Cedar River Complex Events Center located on the Mitchell County Fair Grounds. Bridges was given a $250 donation from the CRC Foundation to help with rental costs. A huge thank you to all donors.

The fundraiser took place of Bridges annual omelet breakfast held in November. All proceeds from the cook off go to the Bridges Mentoring program to continue helping children and families in Mitchell County.

We had 7 teams enter in the competition with the hopes of increasing those numbers next year. Competitors were given a baseline of rules to follow to enter in the competition. All ingredients from this event were donated by the contestants as a part of signing on to participate. Bridges mentoring provided the basic utensils, bowls, napkins etc. Below are some pictures of a couple teams.

Team Red Hot Chili Preppers
Team Road to No Where
Team Road to No Where

Each entry was judged on texture, flavor, spice/taste, aroma, and color. Awards were given in the following categories- Overall Grand Champion, Most Unique Flavor and an overall People’s Choice award.

Attendee's taste testing chili.
Attendee’s taste testing chili.

The panel of six celebrity judges included: Head judge Jessica Goodale, owner of Taste. By Unc’s, along with Osage Mayor Steve Cooper, MCEDC Director Brenda Dryer, Osage School Superintendant Barb Schwamman, and Mitchell County Police Officers Jeff Huftalin and Brian Wright.

Our panel of volunteer judges.
Our Panel of volunteer judges

Winners Included Grand Champion Brian Fangmeier and Tim Blake of Team O.F.D (Osage Fire Department); Most Unique Flavor- Kim Lewis and Abbi Rodemaker on Team Dynamic Duo and the People’s Choice Award- Nolan Byrnes, Scarlett Byrnes and Emily Malizweski on Team Kids Rock.

Grand Champion Team O.F>D
Grand Champion Team O.F.D
Most Unique Flavor Winner Team Dynamic Duo
Most Unique Flavor Winner Team Dynamic Duo
People's Choice Award Team Kids Rock
People’s Choice Award Winner  Team Kids Rock

A number of activities were available for children including mini golf, pumpkin painting, ring toss, apple bobbing and face painting.  The Osage Fire Department Auxiliary graciously donated homemade bars for attendees to enjoy.

In addition to having the opportunity to taste test some great chili, attendees had their first chance to purchase Marvelous Mentoring Meals tickets for the coming year. Tickets are still available to purchase for some events.

This event could not have been possible without the support of the Bridges Advisory Board members, as well as the many volunteers who helped make this event a success. We are looking forward to planning next year’s chili cook off as well as making as continuing to impact for the benefit of children in Mitchell County.

For more information regarding the meals or becoming a mentor with the Bridges Mentoring Program, contact Waller at 641-732-3566 or visit our office at Our Saviors Lutheran Church 833 Ash St, Osage.

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