Commissary hosts chili cook-off competition
CAMP ZAMA - Several of Camp Zama's Soldiers and spouses participated in the very first chili cook-off competition held Jan. 15 at the commissary on the Sagamihara Family Housing Area installation.
Velma Siler, SFHA and Zama Commissary Store Director, said the purpose of the event was to "bring our Soldiers together and be able to give back to them."
The Soldiers and spouses that competed in the competition prepared and presented eight different homemade chili dishes to judges to be crowned winner.
The judges, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Alma Mendoza, assigned to the Defense Commissary Agency, Capt. Shawn Tajalle and Sgt. 1st Class George White, both assigned to U.S. Army Garrison Japan, tasted each and every homemade chili and graded the dishes in different categories such as taste, uniqueness and presentation.
The judges asked each contestant questions about the uniqueness of their own chili during the presentation.
With 8 different homemade recipes, the judges, contestants and audience members listened to 8 different stories behind the chili creations.
While the judges deliberated over whom the winner would be, the audience members, Commissary shoppers and staff workers had the opportunity to taste and compare the chili dishes.
The chili dish prepared and presented by Sgt. Ravibol Nissay, assigned to the U.S. Army Medical Department Activities-Japan, was selected as having the best, overall chili dish.
"The first place winner's chili was the best because of the taste. It had a little spike to it," said Mendoza.
Nissay said he thought the uniqueness of the chili he prepared garnered many votes.
"I mix curry into chili," said Nissay, "curry is almost like (my native culture's) chili, a Cambodian chili."