Anyone at the Friendly Tavern on Saturday had a chance to stimulate their tastebuds as the St. Marys Inaugural Chili Cook Off attracted many different players.
Organized by tavern owner Michael Aquaro Jr., Ashley Randolph of Cisco Realty and Amy Frilling of US Bank, 12 contestants came to bat so they could be judged on their cooking skills. The event was organized as a way to raise money for a project Randolph herself has been working on for a while now.
“We’re out here trying to raise money for the All Abilities Park, which will be built next year,” Randolph explained. Randolph and Frilling had made sure plenty of advertising went out for the cook off, as well as bring out some drink ideas for the lemonade stand held alongside it. “After the judging, we’re just going to have some music and the football game starts at 8 p.m.”
There were plenty of contestants for the judges to consider as 12 different contestants entered and shared their cooking with judges and the public alike, attracting plenty of attention to the tavern. Randolph and Aquaro certainly appreciated the turn out.
“I’m very excited, especially since it’s our first Chili Cook Off and we weren’t sure what we were doing on the behind-the-scenes side,” Randolph stated. Each contestant had paid about $40 to participate, so it also assured them money would be put into the park. “Our goal was 10 contestants. The fact that we got 12 means we exceeded our goal and are pretty happy with that.”
To read the full story, pick up a copy of Monday's edition of The Evening Leader.