Granger hosts chili cook-off

Published 2:49 pm Thursday, October 4, 2012

The 14th annual Michiana Chili Cook-off will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Granger’s Heritage Square Shopping Plaza.

The event will be staged in the Plaza’s Town Square outdoor public space, directly west of Martin’s Super Market. The all-ages event will be held rain or shine.

More than a dozen professional and student chefs are expected to compete as individuals or teams for multiple awards. A ticket price of $5 for adults and $2 for children younger than 10 entitles those attending to sample each entrant’s chili entry. The paid ticket also entitles participants to vote for their favorite candidate for the People’s Choice Award.

Trophies will be awarded for People’s Choice, first, second and third places. In addition, one team will be named winner of the Best Booth Award as recognition for efforts in decorating its cooking area on the basis of originality and creativity.

The official judging committee includes Colleen Ferreira from WSBT-TV, Todd Merchant of South Bend Tribune, Michele Sherpenberg of South Bend Foodies and Deb Miles of B100 WBYT.

“We’re looking forward to an event even bigger and better than in years past,” according to Greg Beachey, CCC, CIC and president of the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), co-hosting organization, along with Martin’s, of this year’s event. “It’s a great way for folks to get together to taste and enjoy great chili as interpreted by seasoned professionals as well as up-and-coming local culinary students. Best of all, proceeds are going to benefit our local American Culinary Federation chapter and the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, so our efforts help to make a difference in the surrounding community.”

Live entertainment during the event will be provided by local group High Life.

Additionally, Feast Catering will host a beer tent for adults 21 and older.

For children, the ACF will host a booth for kids of all ages to dip caramel apples, and Sparky the Clown will be creating balloon art throughout the day.