Guess How Many Jalapeño Peppers Were Used To Make This Contest-Winning Chili
by James Coulter
15 jalapeño peppers, one bottle of habanero peppers sauce, and a large handful of chipotle chili peppers. Those were the ingredients used to make a super-spicy pot of chili that won first place at the annual chili cook-off at First Baptist Church of Auburndale.
Drew McGaffigan has been attending the chili cook-off at his church ever since the competition first started three years ago. He learned how to make his contest-winning chili from a recipe he looked up. His recipe—aptly named Habanero Hellfire—allowed him to win first place during this year’s event on Sunday evening.
“These people are like my family, so it is like hanging out with family,” McGaffigan said. “I looked up this recipe three years ago. I thought it might be fun. It’s not like a family recipe. I just enjoy seeing all these people come together to make and serve their chili.”
His chili was one of six pots that were entered into the competition hosted on Sunday. Nearly three dozen people from the church’s congregation attended that evening to sample the chili for themselves.
The chili dish, Habanero Hellfire, won first place, with second and third place being conferred to the dishes Dear Mama Chili and Spicy 2020 Chili. Each of the dishes was sampled by the judges who offered their final decision, explained Pastor Tom Johnson. As for himself, he preferred the first place winner because of its intense heat.
“It made me sweat under my eyes,” he said. “I guess they preferred super hot chili.”
Johnson has been serving as the pastor for the past 15 years. He started the chili cook-off three years ago as a way to motivate his congregation and members of the local community to visit their church on Sunday evening. Even during these uncertain times with COVID-19, the event experienced a decent turnout.
“It is a great way for people from the community to come together and walk in your church,” he said. “Sometimes it helps break the ice and get them in your church, let them do something fun and come back Sunday morning.”
First Baptist Church of Auburndale will be hosting its 100th Year Anniversary on Sun., Nov. 8 during their morning service at 10:45 a.m. For more information, visit their website at: https://www.fbcauburndale.com, or their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/FirstBaptistChurchAuburndale