Stew, Chili & Brew
competition heats up city streets
participants look forward
to fun and competition
(October 2009) There is an old saying that
too many cooks spoil the soup. Just the opposite is true,
however, at the Madison Presbyterian Church, 202 Broadway, where a group
of women who love to cook have gathered in force to perfect their recipes
for the Madison Area Chamber of Commerces annual outdoor cook-off.
Madison Presbyterian Church
cooking team is ready to take
on the competition.
The churchs small brigade of bakers, boilers and
brewers will be one of many teams competing Saturday, Oct. 10, for the
seventh annual Soup Stew Chili and Brew festival. The event will be
held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Madisons Main Street. Admission
is free, but tickets will be sold to those who want to sample the food
products. Live music is scheduled for the music stage at Main and Mulberry
streets, and there will be a cornhole tournament and a kids play
area featuring inflatables.
There are four categories in the cooking competition in which participants
compete for small trophies and bragging rights. Those categories are:
soups, homemade stews, chili and non-alcoholic brews, such as cider
Since the first Soup Stew event in 2003, many community organizations
have found it to be an excellent way to raise money, said Laura Hodges,
the chambers marketing and events coordinator. Last year,
festival attendees spent more than $16,000 to sample the various soups
offered, she said. Twenty-four cooking teams participated.
Linda Davis is the driving force behind the Madison Presbyterian Churchs
successful run in the cooking competition. Davis, who moved to Madison
five years ago after retiring from a chemical plant laboratory, said
she simply loves to cook. When I joined the church, I met other
women who also love to get together and swap recipes and cook for church
members, she said. Now we cook all the time for the church
as a way to fellowship and fundraise.
11-11:50 a.m.: Andra Bladen
Noon-12:50 p.m.: Bill Lancton (Indiana Hall of Fame
1-1:50 p.m.: Greg Zeisemer and Kriss Luckett-Zeisemer
2-2:50 p.m.: Musical montage from the Bicentennial
3-4 p.m.: B.G. Johnsons Big Bad Brass Blowout
The churchs team, which includes Davis, Marsha McCracken,
Judith Glass, Linda LaCour, Sheila Self, Donna Skyrpak and others, work
together during the annual cooking festival to create a soup everyone
can make. Last year, their black bean soup was a hit among festival
goers. This year, the team has planned a special white bean chili with
Mexican cornbread muffins.
Of course, we have a secret ingredient that makes
our chili just wonderful, said Davis. We hope this year
we will win the competition.
The church also plans to sell the Magic Carmel Apples that
have become something of a legend throughout the community. The specialty
treats are Fuji apples dunked in handmade caramel, dipped in chocolate,
rolled in pecans and then drizzled with white chocolate. The price of
the apples will double this year because of production costs, said Davis.
We have been participating since the festival started, said
Davis. We love doing this for our community and church, and we
look forward to being there. Money raised during the competition
will be put into the churchs ministry program.
The church isnt the only team gearing up for the competition,
however. The Hickory Creek Souper Stewers plan to go all out
again this year to win, according to team leader and Hickory Creeks
administrator Christi Risk. Hickory Creek is small, charitable non-profit
nursing home facility that currently houses approximately 36 residents
and has 35 staff members.
We love the festival, said Risk. Weve already
won three plaques and a trophy, and this year we want to win more.
Last year, the team won for best soup and best decorated booth. The
nursing facility team competes in every category, but Risk wouldnt
divulge any information about her teams recipes or plans. Oh,
wed be giving our competition a heads up, she laughed.
She did hint that the staff and residents have created some awesome
Normally, the team tries the recipes out on the rest of the staff and
residents before the competition, and then asks for input on how to
Weve got our Hickory Creek aprons ready, and we are set
to go, said Risk.
Money raised by the team will be used for the staff Christmas party
and to buy gifts for residents, too.
Hodges said the childrens area for this years event has
been expanded and more activities have been added. She also said the
festival will end with the awards ceremony at 4 p.m., an hour earlier
than in previous years.
Also, as a gesture of appreciation to the firefighters who fought at
the Jefferson County Courthouse fire in May 2009, any fire unit that
fought the fire will be given free entry into the cooking competition,
event co-chairpersons Deana Williams and Tony Ratcliff announced.
In 2007, a traveling trophy for Best Firehouse Chili was
introduced. It was won by the Mishawaka Fire Department from northern
Indiana in 2007, and by Clifty Six Fire and Rescue in 2008. Clifty Six
Fire Co. is expected to defend its title enthusiastically.
Back to October 2009