A Night Full of Chili and Fun in Charlotte. What Could be Better?

A Night Full of Chili and Fun in Charlotte. What Could be Better?

Chili Cook Off?

Silent Auction?

You bet I will be there!

My friend Mark invited me to the 7th Annual Durham Memorial Baptist Church Chili Cook Off and Silent Auction and I did everything I could to make it there! I love to cook and I love my Mom’s Chili so I thought, no worries – this will be a lot of fun! But then…the second time I read the invite, I realized, “Oh my gosh, I have to decorate a table too? Seriously? So I enlisted the help of my friend Danielle because she has a creative personality…unlike me, whose creativity in decorating is only about as long as my pinky finger.  So I was set! Off to the races we went! Cooking my Mom’s Chili, collaborating with Danielle on the “look” and we were ready!

Now, this isn’t your run of the mill Chili Cook Off…oh no. There was First, Second, and Third Place Awards in Table Decorating, Judges Choice for Chili, and People’s Choice for Chili. There were even special guests judges…Guess who?

Leah Rupertino, Tom Roussey, and Kristen Hampton from WBTV in Charlotte! Sweet!

Being in Charlotte, sometimes we get perks like actually being able to meet out Anchor People. What other city does thathappen in? This was not a fully advertised, fully sponsored event. The church put it on. The church. There were no big football players who wanted to be on TV, no actors looking for publicity – This was the Durham Memorial Baptist Church putting it on. A local church, with local people. How awesome is it that these news people came down and enjoyed a night of tasting chili with us? Awesome!

But shoot! The pressure is ON…I know Mark from another baking event, but I don’t know anyone else…How will we be received? How will our chili measure up? Who knew?! I didn’t care. I was just happy to be able to spend the evening with family, friends, and possibly new friends.

The judges came around the tables to judge the decorating. They stopped by each table for a minute or two and took notes.

Winners? Oh, I have the winners for you!

Table Decorating Winners

Best Table First Place

T.R. & Lisa Young and Orpha Ferguson

Best Table Second Place

Greg & Lauren Hoffman


Best Table Third Place

Katie Campbell..But actually Danielle Nicholson too…read below.

Third place went to our table! The award may say “Katie” but it should read “Katie & Danielle” because it was her creativity and ideas that helped us pull things from our houses and turn it into a Parisian Garden. I loved it! Even if we had not placed I would have been happy. That beautiful table put me in a good mood.

There were lots of great looking tables around. I am glad I didn’t have to judge anyone!

Then it was OPEN SEASON on chili tasting! The tables were opened up and now everyone in attendance could taste all the entries.

But it wasn’t just chili on the tables..oh no. When Chili Makers make chili – they go all out! Sour cream, cheese, extra spices, Fritos, cornbread, and more were at each table. It was a feeding frenzy I tell you! And the chili variety was off the charts! Chili with pineapple, “Jamaican” chili, HOT and spicy chili, stew like chili, homestyle chili – You name it, it was available. And if you could not find a chili you liked, well then, let me make a Doctor appointment for you..because seriously, there has to be something wrong with you.

The judges were sequestered in a room and they tasted every chili out there. Oh yea…Never can have to much chili!

Judges Choice Winners

Judges Choice First Place

Rena and Candice Thompson

Judge’s Choice Second

Mark Darnell

Judge’s Choice Third

Bobby & Darlene Young

But besides the Chili Eating Frenzy happening, there was also a Bake Sale going on! And guess what? Mel bought a cake. Not a piece of cake. A FULL CAKE. Surprise, Surprise. Would you expect any less of him?

Oh…and the Silent Auction? Here’s is how it worked. If you wanted to bid on something you got a number. For everything you would bid on, you would put that number next to what you wanted. At the end of the night they announced all the Bid Winners. Mel’s number was “55”. It seemed like every 4th item called, the announcer then called “55”. Oh yea, we walked out with quite a few things that night! Everything on the Silent Auction Table was donated. All of it.

People’s Choice Winners

First Place People’s Choice

Gail Reynolds & Connie Gathings

Second Place People’s Choice

Katie Campbell, but actually my Mom…read below.


My name was on the chili as the “Second Place People’s Choice Award”. I may have made the chili, but it is my Mom’s recipe. I did not come up with it and if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have this scrumdilliumptious recipe – So this award does not belong to me. The award belongs to my Mom. 

Mimi’s Chili Recipe

And I must give kudos to Danielle and her YUMMY cornbread. Because of the coloring of it, green specs, everyone just automatically assumed it was Jalapeno Cornbread – But it wasn’t! It was made out of butter, cheese, and green onions! It tasted like cake it was so light and fluffy!

Farmer Deron’s Cornbread Recipe

Third Place People’s Choice

Jim Turner & Family

If you missed this wonderful event, then you missed a lot of fun, good food, great auction items, and just a fun night all around. All proceeds from The Annual Durham Memorial Baptist Church Chili Cook Off and Silent Auction went to the Lottie Moon Christmas Fund.

I hope I am invited back next year.

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