Fire Engines Needed to Put Out the Heat at Chili Bowl

DES Chili Event was Hot! Hot! Hot!


It’s a wonder firefighters weren’t on the scene at last week’s third Annual Chili Bowl! There certainly was lots of smokin’ hot chili and many taste buds afire at the cook-off sponsored by NH DES. Proceeds from this event benefit Operation Santa Claus. This year, the fundraiser netted $570 that will be used to purchase holiday gifts for disenfranchised NH children.

While some of this year’s entries were mouth-scorching hot, others had subtle ethnic influences, such as Indian spices, making the experience really gastronomically interesting, as well as delectable.

There were three categories – meat; poultry; vegetarian. The winners were:

  • Jennifer Kulacz, Dept. of Safety, State Police, NCIC Unit – best meat chili
  • Gloria Andrews, Dept. of Environmental Services, Water Division – poultry chili
  • Gail Dailey-St. Onge, Dept. of Environmental Services – vegetarian chili

CrowdThe judges were the numerous hungry lunchtime guests who ventured their way from various points to the atrium in the shared DES/DHHS building on Hazen Drive in Concord. Everyone had been forewarned to bring their own bowls, eating utensils, and fire extinguisher! And, for just $5 attendees were treated to some of the best chili in the state.

Chili was not the only item on hand, though. There were also a number of raffles, including a 50-50 and a brand new Apple Ipad, as well as a variety of hand-crafted items for sale.

“‘C’ isn’t for Cookie, it’s for Chili!” said  organizer Anne Keach, SEA member from DES. “The Third Annual Chili Bowl was such a great event. This year, we had contestants from the Dept. Of Safety, Health and Human Services, and Environmental Services enter chili offerings ranging from chocolate, to chicken and vegetarian, to beef and pork (Texas style)!  So many state employees came together to help make the Third Annual Chili Bowl a great success – exemplifying yet again that there is unity in charity – and ensuring a happy holiday for over 3,000 of New Hampshire’s children at risk.”

Keach and fellow organizer Tim Drew have asked us to give special thanks to all who made this event a smashing success.

First, all who entered their recipe or baked the amazing corn bread that helped fight the burn:

Anne Keach, DES

Valerie David, DES

Robert Filiau (Laura’s husband, DES)

Tara Orchard, DHHS

Melanie Doiron, DES

Brenda Higgins, DES

Michele Regan, DES

Michelle Ricco, DHHS

Mark Ledgard, DES

Sharon Crane, DES

Bonnie Bleggi, DES

Anne Bailey, DES

Maria Michel, DES

Special thanks go to Trista Coulter, Laura Filiau, Kimmi Durgin, Owen David, Deb Mayo, and Maria Michel for all their help setting up, raffle sales and cleaning up.

As an afterward, Tim Drew said “The gauntlet has now been tossed with a winner from the Dept. of Safety, so we should expect additional DOS entries next year.” And speaking of next year, here’s an interesting suggestion from the good folks at Fish and Game, a new category – game chili.  Stay tuned.

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