Cabin Fever heats up with Chili Cook-Off
Garrison Petawawa Fire Department's Deon Hunt turned up the heat with his famous Firehouse Chili to once again be crowned the winner of the Cabin Fever Chili Cook-Off. Pictured here (from left) are Town of Petawawa Fire Department Capt. Bill Tabram, OSPCA of Renfrew County community development coordinator Heather Jobe, Town of Petawawa recreation program manager Colin Coyle and Deon Hunt.
PETAWAWA – Local chili chefs turned up the heat at Cabin Fever’s sixth annual chili cook-off on Saturday afternoon.
Hosted by the Town of Petawawa Fire Department, the annual cook-off has been a hot Cabin Fever staple for the past six years as it welcomes local firefighters and other participants to battle for the community's taste buds with their homemade chili creations.
“We sponsor the event for Cabin Fever and bring it back every year because it always has a great turnout and it's a chance for people to enjoy some great chili,” said Capt. Bill Tabram of the Town of Petawawa Fire Department.
This year’s competitors included Garrison Petawawa Fire Department’s Deon Hunt, OSPCA of Renfrew County’s Heather Jobe and Town of Petawawa recreation program manager Colin Coyle.
From noon until 4 p.m. at the Civic Centre, Cabin Fever patrons sampled the three types of chili that ranged in degrees of heat and varied from spicy to sweet, while votes were calculated to determine the winning dish.
“I won once so I keep coming back as there's the possibility of winning again and it's a lot of fun," said Jobe, who has been competing in the cook-off every year since 2013. “I like to think of my chili as 'sweet with a little bit of heat'."
Coinciding with the cook-off, Jobe and her OSPCA team of volunteers had a table set up with an assortment of decadent cupcakes, to promote the OSPCA's National Cupcake Day Campaign.
“We always try to put the two together so that we've got cupcakes and coffee available to enjoy after chili. It's nice to have lunch and then desert after,” said Jobe.
By 4 p.m., all of the chili had been scooped out and enjoyed by nearly 100 patrons and Hunt was crowned the winner with his famous Firehouse Chili.
This marked Hunt’s third time winning the chili cook-off, after earning the top votes in the inaugural 2013 cook-off and at the 2017 competition.
“I’ve been doing this for the past five years ever since it started and it's always a good time,” said Hunt. “It’s a chance to come out, participate in a community activity and help represent the Garrison Fire Department so we can show our involvement in the community and hopefully win.”
The Garrison Petawawa firefighter attributed his three victories to his own secret chili recipe which has just the right amount of flavour and heat.
“There's a lot of special ingredients and I can’t really share it as it's a firehouse secret,” said Hunt. “But it's a recipe that I found on the Internet several years ago and kind of tweaked it to make it my own.”