7th Annual Pine Castle Historical Society Host Chili Cook-off Despite Cold, Rainy Weather

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Pine Castle Historical Society (PCHS) held its 7th annual chili cook-off Saturday at Fish on Fire, whose owner, Jay Harrington, is a big supporter of the organization and the community.

PCHS president Larry Miles said that the Society put on this event to bring the community together, to engage with the community and to raise funds for the organization. Miles said that PCHS is proud to hold the contest at Fish on Fire every year thanks to Harrington’s support. He also noted that once the PCHS grounds are complete, this will be one of the few events that will not take place on the PCHS grounds.


This Year’s Judges

  • Orange County Vice Mayor and District 3 Commissioner Marya Uribe
  • Lionel Rubio – Attorney with Winderweedle Haines Ward and Woodman, PA
  • Bobby Lance – Chef with 43 years of experience working with A&W, as well as owner of numerous eateries in Old Town.

Lydia Roper, Mrs. Central Florida for 2021, was on hand to taste all the chilis. She is competing for Mrs. Florida in April 2022 and is a teacher at Cornerstone Charter Academy in Belle Isle.

Although the weather was cold and rainy, there were 11 contestants vying for the top prize, a chef’s hat embroidered with “Chili Cook-off Champion.”

The judges evaluated each chili on flavor, texture, aroma, and visual appeal. Each judge said the scoring was very difficult and each chili had its own unique qualities.


This Year’s Contestants

  1. Holly – with Beer Barrel Pork-ahh chili, which featured polish beer, and was an all-meat chili. This was Holly’s first time entering the contest.
  2. Dolores – Heart Warming Chili, which combined three different beans, beef, and chili peppers. This was Dolores’s first time entering the contest.
  3. Austin and Cynthia – Dilly Dilly Chili, which was an all-meat chili, and whose secret ingredient they would not reveal. This was their second time entering the contest.
  4. Earl – Earl’s No Mumbo Jumbo Chili, which combined three cuts of ground beef, homemade ground sausage, and was dedicated to his friend’s sons John and Henry Seay. This was Earl’s third time entering the contest but his first after suffering two strokes.
  5. Nick – Fouraker’s Famous Chili, which featured a touch of chocolate, and fire roasted veggies. This was Nick’s second time entering the contest.
  6. John – Better Than Your Momma’s Chili – John has only lived in this area for seven months, so this was his first time entering the contest. John said he hoped his chili brought back memories of hearth and home.
  7. Owen, Michael, and Gage – Chili Monster’s Chili – a classic chili made by this group of 16-year-olds. This was Owen’s first time but for Michael and Gage this was their second time. They had won a previous PCHS chili cook-off and were hoping for a repeat.
  8. Natasha – Chlojo Chili, named after her children Chloe and Jorge. This was her first time competing in the contest after a little persuading by a PCHS board member.
  9. Marissa – Corrina’s Kitchen Chili – Marissa was the youngest contestant at just 14 years old and featured her mom, Corrina’s, chili recipe.
  10. Sue – Sue’s Reaper Chili – Sue said her chili featured the flavor of the reaper. She was the oldest contestant in the contest.
  11. Melvin – The Steer/Fish on Fire Chili, which featured shredded beef. This was Melvin’s first time entering the contest.

After the judges had made their final decision, the 50/50 raffle winner was chosen by 8-year-old Malia. The winner was none other than Santa, also known as Jim Hayes.

The winners of the contest were then announced by Larry Miles.

  • First Place: Natasha with Chlojo Chili
  • Second Place: Austin and Cynthia with Dilly Dilly Chili
  • Third Place: Nick with Fouraker’s Famous Chili
  • The People’s Choice award went to Earl with Earl’s No Mumbo Jumbo Chili

All the contestants received a medal and a copy of the book Will Wallace Harney, Orlando’s First Renaissance Man, by Richard Lee Cronin and published by the Pine Castle Historical Society.

For more information on the PCHS or information on becoming a member go to


Lynn DeJarnette is a Florida National News general assignment reporter. |

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