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'Tis Time 4 Chilifest! Get those Rolaids & Gas-Ex ready!

November 13, 2007 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode
Chili lovers from throughout the region will be sampling a variety of new entries in the 7th annual “Satan’s Revenge ChiliFest” scheduled for Sunday, November 25th at a new location this year, the Altoona Ramada. The event benefits homeless animals at the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society. (CPHS website click here)

The event draws hundreds of hungry chili fans who can choose from nearly two dozen or more varieties of the spicy dish this year with competitors battling for prize trophies/plaques.

New entries from Altoona Hotel (previous “Best Bowl” winner), Uno’s Chicago Grill, Kokopelli’s Coffee Roasters, Marzoni’s (Duncansville), Pellegrine’s, Fat Daddy’s (Altoona), Boston Culinary Group at Blue Knob, The Cantina and CoBRH’s Lounge (Altoona) along with the Bull Pen (last year’s “Best Bowl” winner), Black & Gold Tavern (Altoona) and Racer’s Sports Bar (Tyrone).

Unique new chili recipes such as the “tongue in cheek” duck & cheese offering from Marzoni’s called “Cheese & Quackers!” are expected to stir up interest. Altoona Hotel will reprise their “Best Bowl” award winning “El Diablo Chipotle” chili and Uno’s will offer up “Windy City Chili” (a reference to the franchise based in Chicago) and Pellegrine’s will be serving “Pelly’s Belly Burner” to hungry attendees.

The event will also feature special appetizers courtesy of Boston Culinary, a top raffle prize of an overnight “romance package” courtesy of the Altoona Ramada in addition to gift certificates from all participating restaurants/taverns, a 50/50 and live entertainment by perennial local favorite “Zupe” (the one-man-band). CPHS volunteers will be on hand to sell special, limited edition “I Survived Satan’s Revenge” tee shirts ($10 each, $15 for XXL) and other CPHS items such as their 2008 Picture Perfect Pet calendars.

Top prize at the cook-off (“Best Bowl”) is a traveling trophy awarded to the best chili as chosen by a celebrity judging panel. The “People’s Choice” award is given on the basis of votes as cast by party-goers. Second and third place winners will be awarded plaques noting their achievement.

According to Dave Hopkins, CPHS Director of Fundraising/Public Relations and ChiliFest organizer says “Joe Murgo (TV10 Chief Meteorologist) has been the perennial winner of the ‘one-on-one’ cookoff challenge but this year he really has his work cut out for him. He’ll be challenged by TV10 news anchor Carolyn Donaldson who says she has a special family recipe she thinks will top ‘Murgo’s Meltdown’. She calls it “My Mom’s Chili.” The 25-ingredient recipe was created by Donaldson’s mother Judy and has actually won awards in competition. It should be a great rivalry!”

The event always features a celebrity judging panel that this year will consist of:
Altoona Mayor Wayne Hippo, WJAC-TV Anchorman Marty Radovanic, Johnstown Tribune-Democrat editorial page Editor, Bruce Wissinger, Altoona Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel, Craig “The Iceman” Andrews (Q-94 radio), Elsie Zengel (Altoona Curve), and Doug Herendeen (WRTA radio) and Travis Koshko (WWCP/WATM-TV Meteorologist).

“And our star panelist….just in case….is our favorite Gastroenterologist, Dr. Ralph McKibbin!” added Hopkins.

Tickets for the sampling event are $12 ($15 at the door with limited quantities available) and can be purchased at the CPHS Shelter (1837 E. Pleasant Valley Blvd.), the CPHS Thrift Shop (220 E. Walton Ave., Altoona), Chris’ Hallmark (Pleasant Valley Shopping Center), Thompson Pharmacy (Chestnut Ave., Altoona), and all competing restaurants/taverns.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Serving scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. The event will end approximately 8:00 p.m.

All proceeds from the event go to help the homeless animals at the CPHS shelter.

For more information on the event, contact Dave Hopkins at: 942-2477.

Now, THIS is one event worth a few extra Alka Seltzer.....

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