Cool times, good eats

Thursday, March 6, 2014
Pat Sherrill (left) serves up a sample of her entry in the chocolate category. See more photos at (T-G Photo by Sherry Miller)

Organizers of this year's South Central TN Triple C Competition (Chili, Chicken or Chocolate Cook-off) were banking on just the right weather for the event, and Saturday's moderate temperatures did not disappoint.

"We had our first event like this in the summer," said event chairman Cliff Hirst. "It is too hot for chili in the summer, and chocolate melts, so we decided on this time of the year."

Cooler weather

Our Town Shelbyville and Bedford Arts Council held its annual Chili, Chicken or Chocolate Cook-off indoors at the Fly Arts Building just in case temperatures decided to take a downward plunge, and luckily winter's return held off until the following day.

"Having it indoors, and in the winter, was what people wanted," according to Our Town Shelbyville secretary Cindy Stephenson.

Approximately 150 attendees bought sampling tickets and cast votes for their favorite entries in each of the three categories. Having tables for everyone to sit at while sampling and voting made it a "pleasant, positive atmosphere," said Stephenson.

"The tables allowed for really enjoying the dishes and great fellowship," she said.

The winners

Amateurs and professionals competed for first, second and third place awards in each division.

The winners were:


1st: Shelbyville Airport

2nd: Kaila Kellerman (former owner of The Coffee Break)

3rd: Susan Byrom


Sponsored by Tyson

1st: Nakai Waynick - Celebration Travel

2nd: Cliff Hirst and Greg Heinike (Bell Buckle Cafe)

3rd: Gary Ashley


1st: Dr. Wendy Morton - Lynchburg Veterinary Hospital

2nd: Shelbyville Airport

3rd: Four-way tie - Christine Carlton -"Kitty Paws"- Shelbyville Humane Society; Water's Edge - "Chocolate Treats" -- from the Antiques, Arts & Collectibles Mall; Sandy Carroll -- "Whiskey Chocolate Cake"; and Nancy June Brandon (Dancy) -- "Granmama's Double Chocolate Cake"

Advance cooking

Carol Price of the Arts Council Board donated gift certificates to her Antiques, Arts & Collectibles Mall for all of the winners. * "With the four-way tie for third place, we thought we were going to have to have a drawing to split it, but Carol anted up and said all four of the third place winners would get gift certificates," explained Stephenson.

Allowing the contestants to cook it in advance was a great advantage also, she said, since they didn't have to cook on site like the requirements for a sanctioned contest.

Helping the arts

"We made nearly $1,500 and the funds will be split with The Fly Arts Center -- a great group of folks to work with," said Stephenson, "and one that certainly needs the financial assistance with the expenses and upkeep on the building."

"Working with the Arts Council added to the attendance," she continued. "The art teacher -- Meghan Thompson -- brought over a dozen people to enjoy the tastings."

Our Town Shelbyville's portion of the proceeds will go towards the community park this year so educational events can continue to be held there, along with some proposed musical events. *

Paying the bills

"We have to pay the water and electric bill as well as get new annuals for the pots so everyone can come, sit and enjoy spring -- if it ever gets here," she said.

With the accolades and success of this year's "Triple C," it is being added to Our Town Shelbyville's list of annual events.

"Many of the contestants are already planning what they will be entering next year," revealed Stephenson.

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