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January 13, 2015
Big Bill Wentz Wins Big in Just A Pinch Chili Cook-Off
By Janet Tharpe
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