Janet's Notebook
Big Bill Wentz Wins Big in Just A Pinch Chili Cook-Off

By Janet Tharpe  


Big Bill Wentz Wins Big in Just A Pinch Chili Cook-Off
Big Bill at Home in the Kitchen


The Just A Pinch Kitchen Crew and I have been heating things up in the kitchen lately preparing and tasting oodles of delicious entries in our second annual Sporty Snack Showdown! This time around Chili was the name of the game and boy, do you all have some seriously good chili recipes!

After much stirring and simmering (and sampling!), we were absolutely won over by one seriously bold, wonderfully flavorful, heckuva showdown entry: Big Bill's Win or Lose Chili! It was a tough call, but at the end of the day the Just A Pinch judges were bowled over by this hearty, kicky, flavor-packed recipe. And as it turns out, the recipe's creator and contest winner, "Big" Bill Wentz of Virginia Beach, VA is just as bold and vivacious as his delicious chili!

"Over the holidays all 28 members of my family flew and drove in for our three-day eating fest," said Bill laughingly during a phone conversation to let him know of his big win. "They all drove that far so they could get fed by Big Bill. People love my cooking, and I love nothing more than feeding them."

Well, count us among your fans, Bill. Not only do we love a fella who knows his way around the kitchen, but we plain love it when such talented people so openly share their culinary talents with others. In Bill's case, he can be found every Sunday making his grocery list and doing the shopping for the week. He considers it a stress reliever. And while we have not gotten his wife or two boys to weigh in on this, Bill claims their family kitchen as his domain. He does all of the cooking each night.

"I've been cooking for my entire life. My grandmother started teaching me when I was just five-years-old... Whether I'm feeding two or 200, a group at church or my son's football team, I just love to feed people."

I have to say, it's an honor for us to have folks like Big Bill at our table. As winner of the Sporty Snack Showdown, Bill wins an extreme home theater prize pack, valued at $4,000. But even more than that, he's getting the attention that he and his cooking truly deserve. The intention of this Club from the beginning was to bring together people from all corners who have the same passion for good, solid food... and give them the recognition they deserve. It genuinely warms our hearts when we can elevate good cooks - and good folks - like Bill.

"I absolutely love the site," says Bill. "It makes me feel like a rock star when someone at work asks me for a recipe and I can pull up my recipe box and print off just what they need in a few clicks."

Well, save us a front row seat at the next holiday blowout, Bill. We'll be there with bells on!

Congratulations to Bill and all the wonderful cooks who entered this year's Showdown. Let's hear it for these pro-bowl Runners-Up:

Cinfully Good Chili
Cynthia Creamer-Pirtle of Lufkin, TX

White Chicken Chili
Shauna Evans of Provo, UT

My Triple Cook-Off Winning Chili
Kelly Williams of Forked River, NJ



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46 Comments

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Colleen Sowa colleenlucky7
Jan 24, 2012
Congratulations Big Bill!!!! Very happy for you! xo

Congratulations to all the others who were mentioned too!!! xo
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Sherri Williams logansw
Jan 24, 2012
POW!!! Congratulations to my friend and all around great guy, Big Bill Wentz, on winning the Just A Pinch Chili Cook-Off!!! A much deserved win for an amazing cook. I can't explain the joy I have in my heart right now. I am so happy for you Terri, Will, Chad and the rest of your family and friends. What a great honor to bestowed upon you for being recognized for your love of cooking. I always said you had mad skillz!!! You need to listen to your sista!!! LOL..Your win is a win for all of us who love to cook and share our recipes with others. Let us continue to encourage, uplift, support and motivate each other. That is what it's all about. Good guys do sometimes come out on top. I salute you Big Bill, for a well job done. ♥ U like potato chips & homemade ranch dip. Tears of joy...enjoy this time my brotha! sw☺

I also want to congratulate Cynthia, Shauna & Kelly for their awesome Chili recipes...sw☺
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Colleen Sowa colleenlucky7
Jan 24, 2012
Sherri... I beat you over here..... lol... xo
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Sherri Williams logansw
Jan 24, 2012
hehehehe!!!! i know, garsh darnit!!!!...we just love our brother. we are so happy for him and we want everybody to know it. there is no shame in our game...we are truly all about peace love and happiness...JAP is an excellent avenue for us to display this. We love you JAP!!! sw♥
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Kim Biegacki pistachyoo
Jan 24, 2012
Congrat's to you Bill on winning the chili cook off. Your recipe sounds and looks amazingly delicous! I am so happy and excited for you too. Woohoo!!!!
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Diane Hopson Smith DeeDee2011
Jan 24, 2012
Congrat's Bill! I'm so happy for you!!! WTG!
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Kathy Sterling Kster2033
Jan 24, 2012
Congratulations Bill, this recipe sounds delicious. I know your family and friends are proud of you too! Keep on cooking!
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Bill Wentz bwentz
Jan 24, 2012
Thank you sooooooo much Ladies, this is truly a surprise....and HAPPY Day for Big Bill!!!!!
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Bill Wentz bwentz
Jan 24, 2012
Thank You Janet for the Great Article, I hope you can see the BIG SMILE on my Face this morning ;)))))
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Melissa Sperka MelissasSouthernStyleKitchen
Jan 24, 2012
Big Brother Bill, I am so excited for you!!!! It's so much fun to be recognized for a dish you're passionate about, and our sista Sherri has told me all about you! Congrats, also to you wife and sons, I know they're proud!!!! Enjoy the win, my friend!
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Bill Wentz bwentz
Jan 24, 2012
Thank You Mrs. "Flour Power" Champion, it does feel real good to be recognized ......thank you "Sis"
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Kelly Williams Wildflours
Jan 24, 2012
Congrats, Bill!!!! Woohoo!!!! ....now can you break the news to my hubby that he is NOT getting a new TV? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D Seriously, though, CONGRATS!!!!! :D :D :D Nice job!!!! :D
~Kelly Williams NOT "Roberts". They got my name wrong. LOL
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Lisa Marshall twokidsplus
Jan 24, 2012
Still making Danville proud! Looking forward to trying this recipe soon!
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Angela Gray angiemath
Jan 24, 2012
Way to go Bill ! I am so excited for you my friend and I can think of no one else that is so deserving ! You are an inspiration to all of us and we adore you ! Enjoy your awesome prizes, my husband is sooooo jealous ! lol