Gentrys’ chili voted tops at cook-off

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Nov 09, 2011 - 05:57 PM

Photo: Ann Gentry, left, gives a cup to her husband Steve Gentry for a refill of chili as Stacie Foley, center, looks on and Hazel Jackson sits and watches. Both Stacie and Hazel helped serve at the “Chili Chain Gang” table, the first-place winners.

Ann Gentry, left, gives a cup to her husband Steve Gentry for a refill of chili as Stacie Foley, center, looks on and Hazel Jackson sits and watches. Both Stacie and Hazel helped serve at the “Chili Chain Gang” table, the first-place winners.

Photo: First-place award for the best decorated table went to Petsworth PTA and Beverly Potter, left, and Stephanie Altland for their all American theme.

First-place award for the best decorated table went to Petsworth PTA and Beverly Potter, left, and Stephanie Altland for their all American theme.

It was a first ever chili cook-off at Harcum for the Piankatank Community League and what a success it was. Nine chili cookers decided to enter the competition just to show the lucky diners how great their chili recipe could be.

According to league president Susan Malcolm, the heat level of the chili ranged from "blow the top of your head off" to a very mild and "kid friendly" entry. From Petsworth Elementary School Winona Pearson’s entry was considered by most customers as the hottest chili. A fellow competitor commented that Pearson’s chili was helping to serve more sodas. Shannon Ackley touted her chili as "child friendly" since it was very mild to suit her two children.

It was noted, too, that the guests had different approaches to their tasting. Most people began their evening of enjoying chili by starting at the table closest to the entrance door and then working their way around the room. "However," Susan said, "once the word got out that some chilies were very hot, people either went straight for those tables or saved them until the end. Cheryl Adams of Holly Beach had a unique method of tasting. She got a sample of the chilis, lined them up in order and added sour cream and cheese before she started her tastings."