Submitted by: Adath Israel Congregation.

On Sunday, May 7 from 11 am – 3 pm, Adath Israel Congregation will hold their first Kosher Chili Cookoff fundraiser. Nate Waspe and his son Sam will compete on a team with Executive Chef Cory Swan. Nate said, “Our secret? It’s nothing but passion and the love of cooking. We are making our own spice blend.”
Mikey Frank, another competitor, said, “I am competing in the veggie chili category. It’s clean and light, a little spicy, and one of my favorite things to make. When I started dating my husband Edward many years ago, I tried to encourage him to cook at home. He always ate out for dinner. I made him a cookbook that I hand-wrote and illustrated for him. My chili recipe was in it. As it turned out, I was the one that cooked us dinner, and I’ve been doing it for thirty-three years.”
Gail Jacobs talked about her entry. “Well, I don’t actually call my chili chili. When you think of chili, you think of a loose kind of meat. Mine is more dense. I call it a beefcake. I actually won a blue ribbon a few years ago. I’m looking forward to making ten pounds of chili. I’ve got lots of seasoning and all kinds of secret things I can’t tell you about. The name of my team is the Airforce WingMom’s Children, and the women who make it are called Chili Divas.” We asked Gail if she thought she could win. She said, “I’m going to try. I’m up against a lot of tough competition, but I will do my best.”
One of the other competitors, Bill Spry, said, “My dad will be on the team with me. He has the same name as me! My chili recipe is an adaptation of my dad’s recipe, which is a heavily tweaked recipe from a decade-old cookbook. Mine adds a bit of a kick from the use of chipotle peppers, although I’ve toned it down a bit for broader appeal for the contest.”
The Adath Sisterhood is sponsoring Rebecca Goldwasser’s team. Rebecca said, “I am using my mom’s recipe that I have adapted over the years. I use plant-based meat. It also has tomatoes and beans. It is very hearty and great on a cold winter day. I am not sure I will win, but I do know that many friends and family have surely enjoyed it over the years.”
Visitors to the event will be able to sample chili from all of the competitors and vote for their favorites in the people’s choice category. There will also be a panel of judges to award other cash prizes and trophies.
The Kosher Chili Cookoff includes a huge kids’ zone with a video game truck equipped with the latest consoles. Kids can climb inflatable obstacle courses or play on a four-person claw machine. Backyard games such as cornhole will also be available. Entertainment includes trivia for both adults and kids. Kids should brush up on their Disney songs for Disney Name that Tune.  Adath’s band, Shir Ami will perform on the Lerner.Fisher Hall stage.
Food at the event includes competitors’ chili as well as hamburgers, hot dogs, vegetarian burgers, and baked potatoes that you can cover with your favorite chili. An ice truck will be on the grounds and a raffle will be held to win various prizes.
This event is important for the synagogue because it helps bring congregants together again. Fundraising Chair Ed Dollin said, “As we emerged from the pandemic, we have found a hunger among our congregants for connection, engagement, and meaning.”

Visit Adath’s website for more details.

Photo courtesy of Mitch Cohen.
Kosher Chili Cookoff competitor Gail Jacobs preps.