With the tease of warm weather blown away over the weekend and a wintry mix in the forecast, things remained hot and spicy in the conference room of Scott Honda, as 10 crock pots simmered to perfection, waiting for their chance to be crowned king of the 1st Annual Chili Cook-Off.
Factions of folks were seen forming all over the dealership today, whispering about who they thought had the best chili and in order to ensure the fairness and accuracy of the contest, Internet Salesperson Sean Larry, used his lunch break to guard the voter box, guaranteeing that no one was able to vote twice in the anonymous event.
"I'm here, volunteering as a member of the Party Planning Committee," Sean told Sconda Blog, with his arms crossed sitting next to the box. "The integrity of this cook-off depends on the honesty with which it is run," he said with a smile.
Little squares of bread, plates, tiny sample cups, spoons and bottles of water lined the room, as scores of Scondateers streamed into the conference room, with some of them taking the contest very seriously.
"I worked in the restaurant industry for a long time, so I am going to take my time, cleanse my palate between tastes and make sure that I know the distinct differences between all 10 of these recipes," remarked Ed Pollock, who sampled the chili in between customers on this busy Presidents Day at Scott Honda.
At 2 p.m. the voting ended and the counting of all 69 votes began behind closed doors. Then, like the drama teacher posting the lead role on the bulletin board, a crowd gathered around event organizer Sara Pyfer as she entered the kitchen.
With scotch tape in one had and the results in the other, she slid between onlookers and taped the results confidently on the wall in the kitchen. The cheering could be heard from down the hallway as Tina Moriarty, Scott Honda's Inventory Manager emerged victorious.
"I'm very excited to win," she told Sconda Blog exclusively. "This is a recipe I have had for 11 years, it's called 'Judd's Chili' and the first time I made it was for my brides maids on the night we made my wedding invitations."
The note card in front of her winning chili read, "this is not an overly spicy chili, but there is a little heat in the background. The beans have been replaced with black olives to retain the texture of the beans, without the after effect, if you know what I mean!!!"
Yes I believe we do know what you mean and we thank you, wink, wink.
The first runner up, losing by only one vote, was disappointed Finance Manager, Tom Dainora and in third place was Parts Driver, Clint Rupert.
Today's event by the Party Planning Committee was born out of a desire to get the dealership and it's employees together for something fun and easy and the participation was great.
"I'm excited that today went well," said Sara. "I had a lot of people come to me today with ideas for other cook-offs and bake-offs. So I hope we can really turn this into a fun monthly event."
Check out our Facebook page tomorrow for Tina's winning recipe (she left the recipe at home, which is like winning an Oscar and forgetting your list of people to thank).