“Chili Nelson” welcomes visitors

The first annual Chili Cook Off benefitting students and programs at Lake Highlands Junior High was hosted Saturday afternoon by the LHJH PTA, and it was, by all measures, a roaring success. Tickets sold out weeks before the event, ten teams crafted delicious concoctions with elaborate themed booths and costumes, and attendees enjoyed tasting the creations and reconnecting with other parents and neighbors.

You can see my photos from the day here.

Creators of the “Best Booth” – complete with a presidential theme, golden touches and American flags – sported navy suits and red hats emblazoned with their motto, “Make Chili Great Again.” Sidekick Kellyanne distributed free “alternative facts with every chili sample. The John Hughes-themed booth, an homage to the late, great director of 80s classics such as Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club, earned “Best Drink” honors for their “Sweet Redhead,” and “Best Chili” was won by the booth “Netflix and Chili.” (If you don’t know what “Netflix and Chill” means, ask your teen.) 2017’s “Best Overall” Award for outstanding chili and booth went to the Wildcatters, who constructed a ten-foot lighted oil derrick to create a little Texan ambiance. Fabulous.

Before Saturday, I had eaten plenty of great chili but never judged any, and I enjoyed spending the afternoon with my fellow chili judges: LHHS Head Coach Lonnie Jordan, LHJH Assistant Principal Robert Ford, Andrew Hamilton, Dustin Merritt and Brian Pierce. All the entries were delicious and, amazingly, unique.

If you’d like to support the LHJH Wildcats, you can follow the LHJH PTA on Twitter and Facebook and/or make a donation here. Their next big event is Hoops in the Highlands April 1st.