5th Annual Jerry Adams Chili Cook Off.
She came to the recent Marco Island
Fire Rescue Foundation fundraiser to retain her first-place crown in the Individual category and she did not go home disappointed. The mortgage consultant for Marketplace Home Mortgage, again assumed the role of chili chef for a team sponsored by her employer and the Bartos Group.
“I’m defending my title,” she said just before votes were tallied. “I call it my kitchen sink chili because there are three meats, two vegetables and three sauces.”But like the chefs from the other 17 entrants, Stokes was keeping specific details about ingredients strictly on the down-low.
Held at the at CJ’s on the Bay in the Esplanade Shoppes, the event honors the memory of Jerry Adams, a Marco Island firefighter for 23 years who lost his battle with cancer in 2012. Adams was known for the popularity of the firehouse chili that he prepared.Marco’s Fire Rescue Foundation is dedicated to providing financial relief and scholarships for Fire-Rescue Department personnel and their families in times of injury and illness.
Foundation President Dianna Dohm viewed this year’s cook-off as a resounding success.
“It was a great day,” she said. “We had over 800 attendees. That is the largest turnout we’ve ever had. I think everyone wanted to come out to support the first responders, especially with the great job they did, pre-, during and post (Hurricane) Irma.”Dohm said the event proceeds were still being counted at press time, but she expected it to set a record, exceeding the $10,000 raised by last year’s event.
“We’re thankful for all of our chili chefs, our sponsors and for all the volunteers who came out and helped, and the community who came out and supported the event and in essence, supported our first-responders,” she said.Support for the community’s first-responders provided motivation for all of the businesses, civic groups and other organizations that competed with their unique takes on the ever-popular comfort food.
“We like giving back,” said Craig Biddick, who, with his wife and fellow broker Susan, manned the Engel & Völkers North American Real Estate booth. “The firefighters, the police officers, the first responders, they all give their best, day-in and day-out, so it’s the least that we can do.”
Wild Jimmy’s Beef Jerky owner Jimmy Downey joined his friend Tim McCoy in crafting the entry for the business McCoy co-owns, The SpeakEasy.“We cooked for the last three days and we just had a ball,” said Downey. “It’s a lot of fun when the community gets together and this is going to be a tradition for the rest of our lives.”
McCoy was blown away by the fact they’d sold all six gallons of the chili they’d prepared with more than one hour left before the cook-off’s end.
“Phenomenal crowd, everybody loved it,” he said. “This is great for the Fire Foundation. We appreciate everything the Fire and EMS department do for our community. We’re so thankful for them and it’s great to put on a benefit like this for them and we’re happy to participate.”Marketplace Home Mortgage-Bartos Group wasn’t the only repeat winner. That honor was shared with the Sunrise Rotary, which was again selected as having the best decorated booth.
The other winners were the Kiwanis Club of Marco Island in the civic organization category, Mango’s Dockside Bistro in the restaurant category, and Marco Fire-Rescue in the fire department category. The award for best overall chili went to the Island Country Club.