Erie, North East Campuses Announce Annual Chili Cook-Off Winners

There might be snow outside, but a little friendly competition – and a hefty dose of chili powder – has been heating up the ‘Hurst this February.

The results are in for last Friday’s annual “Phil Up Your Bowl” Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by the Human Resources and Campus Ministry offices.

This marks the first year the campus tradition has been held at the university’s North East campus. Daniel Bertolini of the Athletics office took the “Best Chili by the Lake” prize, with Aaron and Darcey Kemp from Athletics and Student Life coming in second place. Kathy Burns from the Office of Academic Affairs took third place.

The North East event raised $85 and 16 cans of food for the North East Food Bank.

In Erie, the “Best Chili on the Hill” award went to the 13-member team of hospitality and restaurant management students for their peanut butter chili. The students are Jess Christofferson, Katie Costa, Jessica Fellows, TJ Giles, Liz Hall, Katie Jeffries, Dana Karlheim, Cariel Lewis, Victoria Lewis, Zach Moss, Robbie Trypus, Chelsea Ulrich and Anna Wills.

Hospitality students also won the award for “Best Unique Chili” for their chicken tortilla variety, with a team consisting of Kathleen Battaglia, Alisha Catalino, Pat Coit, Kevin Poropat, Amy Edwards, Leon Gallop, Rosemary Macey, Krysta Smith, Loan Vu and Kaitlyn Wrona.

The Campus Ministry office produced two chili champions, with The Rev. Jim Piszker, university chaplain, winning for “Best Traditional Chili” and Jenell Patton, campus ministry outreach coordinator, with the “Best Vegetarian Chili” award. Dennis Donovan of Police and Safety rounds out the winners with the “Best Hot Chili” title.

“You could tell everybody was having a good time,” said Jim Tometsko, director of human resources. “It was a neat atmosphere with a lot of buzz and good banter among the contestants. This time of year, it’s nice to do something that brings a little warmth when the snow comes.”

The Erie event raised $308.25 for the United Way of Erie County, with additional canned food donations going to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania and the North East Food Bank.