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Willow Springs Chili Cook-Off

Autumn makes for chili (cook-off) weather

The Red Hot Mamas, Julie Herrera, Jill Norton and Laura Najour, are good friends who make great chili. HATCHER HURD. (click for larger version)

Anne and John Bandle enjoy sampling the chili at Willow Springs. HATCHER HURD. (click for larger version)

Michael Palmour and his dog Dante are ready for chili Dawgs. HATCHER HURD. (click for larger version)

Bill Worslok and Kim Weber make their case for vegetarian chili at the Chili Verde table. HATCHER HURD. (click for larger version)

Rumors that Jim Rahm’s Area 51 chili was brought here in a UFO have yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Air Force. HATCHER HURD. (click for larger version)

Gloria Graves-Smith carries a pot of her Bearded Dragon chili. Do not feed the dragons. HATCHER HURD. (click for larger version)

Jim Hirz and Janet Liberman try their hand at cornhole tossing. HATCHER HURD. (click for larger version)
November 07, 2012
ROSWELL, Ga. – The residents of Willow Springs subdivision picked the most ideal fall day last Saturday to have their fourth annual chili cook-off to benefit the Drake House and to display some of the best tasting – and best named – chili this side of Amarillo.

Take Jim Rahm's Area 51 Chili. His is a lusty concoction and named for Roswell's biggest claim to fame. Of course that is Roswell, New Mexico's, greatest landmark.

"Besides, aliens make great chili," Rahm said.

Well, out of this world anyway.

The Red Hot Mamas are three ladies who are PTA moms and soccer moms, but once a year, they let it all hang out for their chili, and well-named it is.

"We love food, we love a good time," said RHM Laura Najour.

The Mamas make a hot and spicy chili that stands out, but does not overawe.

Bubbie's Chili at the next table is the inspiration of Barbara Coberly. She makes Flamethrower chili that is a bit of a misnomer. A Texas chili (no beans), its spices sort of sneak up on you. Then it's time to put the fire out. She says she has spent 35 years perfecting her Flamethrower. She's just about got it right.

Kim Weber and Bill Worslok have an eye out for health. Their Chili Verde is more than just green, it's completely vegetarian. This could get you shot in Texas, but it works surprisingly well, and the avocado hits just the right pitch.

The one ringer in the cook-off was "Chef Jon" Mayer, Country Club of Roswell's resident chef. He brought out his personal recipe for Old Mexican Chili.

"I wanted to bring something of the Old World flavors – flavors that are good for winter days," Mayer said.

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Tags: Community & Outreach

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    The taste of chili
    November 08, 2012 | 04:57 AM

    Hatcher, you didn't mention John Kennedy's chili (which won the cook-off, by the way). The quality of the different submissions was high, and, except maybe for your ringer, John's was the best.

    John is co-owner (with his wife Sadie) of Fancy Pantry on The Old Alabama Connector at Mansell Road. A great sandwich, salad, and soup restaurant only open for lunch on weekdays. His chili resonated best with the crowd and the judges. Sadie's cheesecake-wrapped-in-chocolate dessert was an excellent addition to the booth.

    Just thought I'd add this to your coverage.

    "Besides, aliens make great chili," I need some tips on how to cook aliens (e.g., should I remove the bones?).

    Sid Plait
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