Friday, January 18, 2002

It'll be chili today in Mason

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Teachers in the Mason City Schools have been stirring the pot in preparation for today's Great Chili Cook-Off.

[photo] Barbara Crist (left), assistant superintendent for Mason schools, loads cheese cups as Marianne Culbertson, Board of Education president, makes salad Thursday in preparation for today's Great Chili Cook-Off.
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
        And with bragging rights on the line, teachers have been talking up the event in class, trying to sway votes from the students.

        “It's really heating up,” said Elaine Santos, vocal instructor at the high school. “It is incredibly spirited.”

        To the winner goes the Golden Ladle. This year's culinary duel is the first time only middle and high school teachers will compete in the third annual event.

        Hayley Walton, who directs the drama department at the middle school, is teaming with high school dance team adviser Shannon Watson.

    • What: Third Annual Great Chili Cook-Off.
    • When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. today.
    • Where: Mason High School Commons, 770 S. Mason-Montgomery Road.
    • Cost: $6 for adults, $4 for ages 5 to 10; children under 5 eat free.
        “We know these middle school kids are going to come out and support us,” said Ms. Walton, who predicted that their black bean veggie chili will be victorious.

        Mrs. Santos made fun of her colleagues for teaming up in an effort to beat her white chicken chili.

        “Sometimes it takes two people to come up with a good recipe, but not me,” she said.

        Also participating are visual arts teacher Judi Cettel and band teacher Bob Bass. Both work at the high school.

        Diners will also be able to choose from Cincinnati-style chili and chili con carne. And after guests have taste-tested the chefs' best, they can vote on their favorite.

        Peanut butter sandwiches, salads, desserts and beverages also will be available. Entertainment will include school bands, choirs and dance teams.

        Proceeds will benefit the Fine Arts Council, a group that supports and promotes the performing and visual arts in Mason schools.


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