Bryan County Sheriff ’s Office 911 Dispatcher Krista Beck said she took an unconventional approach to preparing her white chicken chili for Friday’s North Bryan Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Chili Cook Off.
“I added a lot of stuff to make it my own,” Beck said, running down a list of ingredients ranging from white beans and chicken to half and half, cream cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, hot sauce and butter. “I like it savory.”
So did the judges, who awarded Beck and BCSO the 2019 Golden Ladle as the first place winner, besting 10 other entries during the judging held at the J. Dixie Harn Senior Citizens Center in Pembroke.
Finishing second was Bryan County District 1 Commissioner Noah Covington while Pembroke City Clerk Sharroll Fanslau, representing the Pembroke Police Auxiliary, placed third.
Covington said he made “my mom’s chili with my dad’s spices.”
But the real secret?
“You’re supposed to cook real chili in a real pot,” he added. “Everybody else used a crock pot. I used a real pot.”
Fanslau said her chili was “just plain old chili,” made with the usual ingredients, plus one more thing. “It has a lot of Midwestern love in it,” she said. The contest was also sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority of Pembroke.
Bowls of chili and drinks were available for $5 or $10, with proceeds going toward the NBCC’s community initiatives, said the Chamber’s Jessica Dowd Guilford.
“This was my first time hosting it, and we had a lot of great entries,” Guilford said. “Our main goal is to let the public know that the Chamber is back up and running. We are working on increasing our membership and community involvement.” Judges were Pembroke Public Safety Director Bill Collins, Pembroke Police Department Lt. Kelly Price and Bryan County Family Connection Director Wendy Sims.