Two-Time Champion Wins Again at Chili Cookoff

Ashley DeVine
People tasting chili.

By Ashley DeVine, Staff Writer

For the third year in a row, Jim Stull’s chili recipe was the winner at the annual Protective Services Chili Cookoff, now in its 11th year.

And for the third year, Stull, an animal care supervisor in the Laboratory Animal Sciences Program, brought a brand new recipe to the competition—Hawaiian Chili.

Stull came up with the recipe by first deciding he wanted to put fruit in it. After selecting pineapple, he needed to decide what meat would go well with it.

“I came up with pork, which I had not used before, and decided to call it Hawaiian Chili,” Stull said. “After deciding on those two main ingredients, I randomly added all the other ingredients, writing down what they were and how much I had added.” 

Chili competitors might want to take note of Stull’s advice: “My suggestion for next year’s contestants would be to make something different, something that stands out, tastes unique, and makes people remember it.”

First Cookie Bakeoff

New to the Feb. 3 event was a Cookie Bakeoff. Melissa Porter, administrative manager, NCI Office of Scientific Operations, was the winn

er out of five contestants. She baked the Neiman Marcus $250 cookies, with her own special twist.

The story behind the recipe is based on an urban legend about a woman who asked her server at a Neiman Marcus café for the recipe for their chocolate chip cookies. The server gave it to her, and her next Neiman Marcus bill reflected a $250 charge for the recipe.

“She tried to get her money back to no avail, so she decided to share the recipe with as many people as she could to get her money’s worth,” Porter said.

The snowy weather and base closure kept only five pots of chili and a few batches of cookies from being entered, according to Tom Gannon-Miller, manager of Protective Services, and the event’s organizer. In total, 12 employees entered the chili contest.

“Considering the weather, I would rate the event a success. We had about 100 employees attend (with several arriving early), and I believe over 70 casted votes,” he said.

Randy Hill, Protective Services, won second place in the cookoff, and Ray Paggi, service worker, Facilities Maintenance and Engineering, came in third.

In the Cookie Bakeoff, Dara Riva, research associate II, Neutrophil Monitoring Laboratory, was second place, and Dennis Klinman, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator, Cancer and Inflammation Program, was third. Klinman said he was the only participant who submitted a cookie that had chili peppers in it. 

The Winning Recipes

Jim Stull’s Hawaiian Chili

1-½ lb pork loin or roast

2 cans black beans

2 cans white beans

2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes

1 or 2 (20 oz.) cans sliced pineapples

1 can diced green chilies

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

2 Tablespoons chili powder (or more or less to taste)

1 Tablespoon cumin

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup sugar

Salt (to taste)

Directions: Drain the pineapple, reserve the juice, and cut the pineapple into small wedges. Place the pork in a crock pot, pour the pineapple juice over the pork, and cook on low for six to eight hours.

Shred the pork and set aside. Save the juices in the crock pot. Place the shredded pork back into the crock pot with the pineapple juice, and add the pineapple and remaining ingredients.  Cook on low for approximately six hours.

Neiman Marcus $250 cookies

2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
24 ounces chocolate chips
1 teaspoon salt
1 eight-ounce Hershey bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions: Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the chocolate chips, Hershey bar, and nuts. Roll the dough into balls, and place the balls two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.


Captions for portraits

Jim Stull won the Chili Cookoff with his recipe for Hawaiian Chili.

Melissa Porter won the Cookie Bakeoff contest at the Chili Cookoff.