Stull Repeats as Chili Champ

By Ken Michaels, Staff Writer
People tasting chili.

Participants took their role as chili judges seriously.

By Ken Michaels, Staff Writer

Jim Stull, winner of the ninth annual Protective Services Chili Cookoff in January of last year, proved that he’s no one-trick pony; he brought a brand new recipe to the 2013 event and won again! And he did it decisively. His Black Bean ‘n Pumpkin Chili garnered 107 points; the second place winner netted less than half that with 52.

“For me, a good chili is just not hot and spicy. It has to have a distinctive flavor that makes you want to come back for more.”

The chili recipe he entered is indeed his own. It arose from a telephone conversation with his 89-year-old grandmother in Portland, Maine, who suggested he try a pumpkin chili. His mother-in-law (Eileen Walton who works in Purchasing) followed up by sharing a recipe for a pumpkin chili. Stull then gathered three more recipes from the Internet, and combined the four, making adjustments in the ingredients. He made a test batch the week before the cookoff and tweaked the recipe some more until he got what he wanted: a winner!

Record Turnout

The 10th annual event was attended by 110, which is a record turnout. Debora Reckley, Purchasing, won second place and Ross Smith, IT security, Data Management Services, finished third, in a field of 26 entries. Stull is a supervisor in the Laboratory Animal Sciences Program.

Jim Stull’s Black Bean ‘n Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Jim Stull

1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
2½ cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (14½ ounces) diced fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) garlic and onion tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2–3 teaspoons chili powder
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon salt


In a large skillet, sauté the onion and yellow pepper in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook one minute longer.  Transfer to a five-quart slow cooker; stir in the remaining ingredients.  Cover and cook on low for five hours.

Inset photo: Jim Stull, two-year winner of Protective Services’ Chili Cookoff.