Knights of Columbus to host annual chili cook off

Published 10:01 am Thursday, February 14, 2019

EDWARDSBURG — As any Midwesterner knows, there is something about chili that warms the blood and the bones the way other soups do not. It could be because chili fires the competitive spirit and drive with contests and cook offs to decide who has the best recipe.

For the eighth year in a row, the Edwardsburg Knights of Columbus are hosting a chili cook off, for little other reason than for the fun of the competition and the fellowship for the beloved stew.

Thirteen local cooks will be bringing their best chili recipes to Our Lady of the Lake Church from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16. With untold pounds of ground beef and all assortments of beans and peppers, the cooks will face off in a friendly competition, the winners of which will be determined by the votes of the visitors. There will not be final judges, but only ballots cast. Whether hot or mild, all the chili will be judged democratically.

First, second and third place winners will receive gift certificates, then the feasting will go on. Ontwa Township supervisor and member of the Edwardsburg Knights of Columbus Jerry Marchetti said the chili cook off is “just for the fun of it,” but it is also fundraising opportunity for the local Knights of Columbus chapter as well.

“We’re always looking at ways of fundraising. We collect funds for the church and the community,” Marchetti said.

The Edwardsburg Knights of Columbus chapter is active in giving to local organizations and charities. The Knights do fundraise for Our Lady of the Lake Church, but they also contribute funds to community efforts like the Edwardsburg Food Pantry and the Sustainable Built Environment Initiative through Michigan State University. In 2019 the Knights will be sponsoring a little league team.

“We’ve donated money to many worthwhile projects in the community,” Marchetti said.

Saturday’s event does not have a designated fundraising purpose, and is free and open to the public. Donations are gratefully accepted for whatever future projects the Knights choose to contribute to, according to Marchetti, but the primary focus of the day is the chili and the fellowship. While the cook off is a good opportunity to socialize and give to a community organization, it also fulfills the simple need for warm soup in the cold weather.

“It’s probably just the cold winter, but chili warms your insides,” Marchetti said.