Family recipes win awards at Chili Cookoff

James McAfee tries the chili served by Rhonda and Kevin Stevenson at their High Octane booth, which won the People's Choice award.
By Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted: Feb. 17, 2020 3:45 pm

Family recipes win awards at Chili Cookoff

HANNIBAL | Family recipes proved popular at Saturday’s Hannibal Jaycees Chili Cookoff at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center, helping chili teams take home awards.

Golden Eagle Distributing was the Jaycees' co-sponsor, and proceeds will go to the Hannibal Nutrition Center. A new contest, an adult pinewood derby, was added this year, and had nearly 50 entries.

As James McAfee tried the chili served by Rhonda and Kevin Stevenson at their High Octane booth, Rhonda Stevenson was happy to report, “We had the best compliments today. People said it was just like eating at my Mom's kitchen table.” The High Octane team later won the People's Choice award.

Another Hannibal team, Box Car Willy, won first place in the chili contest. Earlier, team member Ronald Knutelski explained he and Richard Tate had changed their chili this year. “We added a little more Southwest flavor with fresh chili peppers.”

The Nutters team won second place in the contest at a booth manned by Leon Obert and Jestun Nutter of Quincy, Ill. Obert explained their recipe is “Grandma's special recipe, carried on for many years.”

The Nutters also served Apple Pie Moonshine, Obert said, made with “Grandpa's secret recipe.” Among the people trying it were Kristy Morriss and her brother-in-law, Jason Smith.

The Finn's team of Hannibal won third place for its chili.

As winner of best booth, the Shake n Bake team had decorated with tires and stoplights for a NASCAR theme. Corey Fry explained their chili “is like Grandma used to make.”

Melissa Haynes of Golden Eagle, posing for a photo in a Chili Cookoff T-shirt, reported 10 chili teams had competed, including two new ones: Tubby's and Pit Shop Chefs.

Kami Harsell, Jaycees Chili Cookoff co-chair with Amy Allen and Kaylee Buckman, said, “It's a good time, and we are excited to raise money for meals on wheels.”

Hank Bollock of the Jacksonville, Ill., Speedway, brought his equipment to handle the adult pinewood derby races. He also works for Golden Eagle in Jacksonville. The races had a total of 47 entries.

Bollock said the races are a “growing deal” in popularity, adding, “We hope to come back.”

The pinewood derby winners were:

• Stock – Dave Estep of New Lenox, Ill., Matt Estep of Western Springs, Ill., Randy Cox of New Berlin, Ill., and Roger Adams of Franklin, Ill.

• Super stock – Dave Estep of New Lenox, Ill., Matt Estep of Western Springs, Ill., Cory Kaylor of Hannibal and Jim Steckel of Roodhouse, Ill.

As the crowd meandered around the booths and played games on the stage, two Kinderhook, Ill.,”mountain men” Roger “Tilly” Phillips in a bearskin coat and Wyatt “Yukon” Wood, dressed like Wyatt Earp, were attracting attention.

See photo gallery for more pictures of the Chili Cookoff.


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