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5th Annual Houston Kosher Chili Cookoff

5th Annual Houston Kosher Chili Cookoff

Over 30 local organizations and businesses spiced up the 5th Annual Houston Kosher Chili Cookoff with their unique kosher chili recipes on Sunday, March 8, 2015. The inclement weather did not deter over 1,400 people from attending the cookoff for chili, live music, arts and crafts, moonwalks, a climbing wall and jalapeno eating contest. The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center Meals on Wheels, Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services, and The Hebrew Free Loan Association are event beneficiaries.

0049df9b-827b-4efb-accd-dc1e2d513df0Attendees also heated up competition through bids for silent auction items and a raffle while local live entertainment was provided by The Dan Band, Joe Buchanan (Congregation Shar Hashalom) and the Lanier Middle School Klezmer Band. Celebrity and media food judges sampled 36 recipe entries for kosher chili throughout the cookoff.

The coveted best chili and first place award was presented to United Orthodox Synagogues team.

Following up closely behind, the Congregation Or Ami team received second place and the Chabad of Sugar Land team was awarded third. The Aishel House team won the Showmanship Award and the Congregation Beth Yeshuran received the People’s Choice Award. All winning teams were presented with trophies.

Celebrity and media judges included Amber Elliott from The Houston Chronicle; Council Member Ellen Cohen Houston City Council District C; Eric Sandler of CultureMap; Ernie Manouse of PBS; Food Editor of The Houston Chronicle Greg Morago; Katherine Whaley of ABC13; Kathy Ballanfant of Southwest News; Laurette Veres of HTexas Magazine; Radio Personality of 950 AM Michael Garfield; Phaedra Cook of Houston Press; Ruchi Mukherjee of Lights Camera Action; Russell Weil of Buzz Magazines; Publisher of Chile Pepper Magazine Sir McMillen; and Ted Powers of the Jewish Herald-Voice.

The 6th Annual Houston Kosher Chili Cookoff is scheduled for Sunday, February 28, 2016. For more information please visit

Photo credit: Elise Passy

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