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West Milford Church Spices Up Fundraiser

West Milford Presbyterian Church will hold its annual chili cook-off Jan. 31.
West Milford Presbyterian Church will hold its annual chili cook-off Jan. 31. Photo Credit: Facebook

WEST MILFORD, N.J. — West Milford Presbyterian Church will raise funds and the temperature with its chili cook-off contest Jan. 31.

The sixth-annual event starts at 5 p.m. at the 1452 Union Valley Road church.

Organizer Dawn Syversten said around eight different types of chili, all with different cooks, usually arrive at the dinner.

"It's a nice gathering with their friends," Syversten told Daily Voice. "It's a nice meal for the money. They are full after the [meal] and the money goes to a good cause."

The cook-off benefits the church's outreach programs and food pantry.

The guests act as the judges and rate each chili on a scale of one to five. The criteria includes aroma, color, consistency, aftertaste and taste.

Sides such as corn muffins, cheese, sour cream and chips will be available but many judges don't use it, Syversten said.

"Most people take it so seriously," she said. "They're funny. They don't like to alter the flavor at all."

The chili cooks are left anonymous so the vote does not become a popularity contest, she said.

This year's event also features a cake-baking contest.

The top dishes win prizes, such as cooking utensils or gift cards.

Most years around 60 people come to the cook-off, Sylversten said. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $5 for young adults, sold at the door.

TO ENTER: Call Sylversten at 973-853-6041 or the church at 973-728-3081.

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