University News

Ag Dept. Chili Cook-Off Set for Feb. 19 in Macomb

January 28, 2009

Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL -- Next month, chili lovers will be able to sample a variety of the bountiful bean creations, all cooked by Western Illinois University's agriculture club members and ag department faculty and staff. The WIU agriculture department's 2009 chili cook-off is slated for Thursday, Feb. 19, with chili being served from 5-7 p.m. at the American Legion in Macomb.

The chili cook-off is a fundraiser that helps cover the cost of the department's annual spring agriculture banquet, which makes banquet tickets more affordable for students, noted senior Emmalee Brink (Highland Park, IL), Ag Council president at Western.

"Entry in the chili cook-off is open to the 15 different agriculture clubs and agriculture faculty and staff on campus," Brink explained. "Each club will choose the students who will do the cooking, and each group or individual will have the option to begin cooking here on campus or at the American Legion earlier in the day -- but no at-home cooking is allowed for this contest. The chili must be prepared at the designated locations."

"Celebrity" judges include Karen Greathouse, professor in Western's dietetics, fashion merchandising and hospitality department; Eric Jameson, McDonough County Coroner; Hugh Anderson, co-owner Gumbart's in Macomb; Kelly Finch, manager of Adams Street Coffee in Macomb; and Scott Vogler, meat manager at Hy-Vee in Macomb.

"Judges are selected from various areas of WIU and the Macomb community," Brink said. "Each judge will pick his or her favorite chili dish. The public will also have an opportunity to have some fun and choose the 'People's Choice' chili," she added.

Prizes, which are donated by the participating organizations and businesses in Macomb, include: $100 for first place; $50 for second place; and $25 for third place. Magnolia's restaurant in Macomb has donated a $25 gift certificate to the winner(s) of the People's Choice chili dish.

Tickets are $5 in advance, $6 at the door and are available from Agriculture Council members or at the agriculture department office in Knoblauch Hall 145.

"One ticket buys you admission to the event and includes all-you-can-eat chili, a hot dog, relishes, dessert, a drink and a chance to vote on the People's Choice chili award," Brink said.

The American Legion is located at 221 E. Washington St. For more information or to reserve tickets, contact the ag department at (309) 298-1080.

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (
Office of University Communications & Marketing