Chili Cook Off

Director Mark Masuoka tasting the chili.

Director Mark Masuoka tasting the chili.

Director Mark Masuoka's scorecard of the seven different entries.

Director Mark Masuoka’s scorecard of the seven different entries.

A frigid and overcast Monday provided a perfect atmosphere for staff members looking to warm up with a bowl of chili at the Akron Art Museum’s Chili Cook Off fundraiser on December 9. Seven employees entered their favorite chili recipes in a battle judged by the museum’s Executive Director & CEO Mark Masuoka. First, second and third place winners were chosen based on consistency, flavor and variety of ingredients.

Two entries tied for third place – one made by Sheri Stallsmith which was a traditional chunky red chili filled with tri-colored bell peppers, and the other made by Cristina Alexander which was also traditional but contained a secret ingredient: spicy Italian sausage. Second place was awarded to Carol Murphy who created a white chicken and smoked sausage chili accompanied by lime wedges and fresh cilantro. The first place ribbon went to Laura Firestone for her uniquely flavored vegetarian chili filled with chick peas and crushed tomatoes.

For a small fee, staff members enjoyed unlimited bowls of chili, salad, slaw, cornbread and dessert. All proceeds will be donated to United Way as part of the museum’s annual campaign. Special thanks to everyone who participated and congratulations to the winners!

The winners and their ribbons.

The winners and their ribbons.

Cristina Alexander and Sheri Stallsmith tied for third place. Rather than sharing custody of the ribbon they decided to split it in half.

Cristina Alexander and Sheri Stallsmith tied for third place. Rather than sharing custody of the ribbon they decided to split it in half.

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