By Dave Sorter
A record 50 teams will participate in the 20th annual Tiferet Israel Kosher Chili Cook-off Sunday in the Tiferet Israel parking lot, 10909 Hillcrest Road in Dallas.
“We wanted to set a record for number of teams,” cook-off co-chair Neal Stollon said. “Then, we needed a hard cutoff. We had the team meeting [Feb. 26], and it would be very difficult for any additional teams to enter.”
Of the 50 entrants, 42 will compete in the regular (beef) division, while five teams will vie for the vegetarian chili title and three will feature turkey chili.
Judges are scheduled to be Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, state Rep. Stefani Carter, cook-off co-founders Jack Baum and Dan Prescott, community leader and federation Partnership Committee chair Ron Romaner, former Dallas Cowboys lineman Andy Frederick, Westin Galleria chef David Smith, Texas Health Resources chef Marty Cummins and laser eye surgeon Jeff Whitman.
Though team members will start formulating their concoctions as early as 8 a.m. Sunday, the event will be open to the public from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Food (other than chili) will be sold, vendors will have their own tables near the cooking tents and games for children will be available.
The Dallas Jewish Historical Society, one of the beneficiaries of the cook-off, will take oral histories inside the Tiferet Israel building. Also inside, the PJ Library — a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ Center for Jewish Education — will have a reading/arts and crafts room.
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 4-10 and free for ages 3 and younger.
The cook-off draws thousands of people each year, and parking has long been a major problem, Stollon said. Parking will be available at the Aaron Family JCC parking lot, 7900 Northaven Road, with shuttle buses traveling to and from Tiferet Israel. Event organizers provided the following tips:
- Organizers highly recommend parking in the JCC parking lot. Two buses will run continuously throughout the event, so waits should be less than 10 minutes. You can also get your tickets and wristbands at the J. This is the easiest and most convenient option.
- Limited handicapped parking will be available at the Royal Lane Baptist Church parking lot. All vehicles must have handicapped tags and must check in with cook-off staff
- Limited parking will be available across Hillcrest Road from Tiferet Israel. As in previous years, parking is at your own risk. All vehicles must stay off the walking trail. No exceptions.
- Street parking in the neighborhood is limited. This is a residential neighborhood, so please be respectful of how you park.
- There is no parking on Hillcrest Road. No exceptions; you will get towed.
While tasting chili and participating in fun activities is a large part of the cook-off, tzedakah also is important. For example, a food drive is being jointly sponsored by the Jewish Family Service food pantry, Congregation Tiferet Israel and next-door neighbor Royal Lane Baptist Church.
Donations of non-perishable food or money will be accepted at the cook-off. Non-perishable food includes items stored in a pantry, such as oil, sugar, rice, crackers, dry cereal, canned goods, peanut butter and others. The food must have a valid shelf life; out-of-date food can’t be accepted.
Meanwhile, three local non-profits are chosen each year to be beneficiaries of cook-off proceeds. This year’s organizations are the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, Moishe House – Dallas branch, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Dallas metro ALS division.
The Dallas Jewish Historical Society was established in 1971, according to a cook-off committee statement. The agency actively collects, preserves, and records the history of the entire Greater Dallas Jewish Community for research purposes. A partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, the DJHS is primarily supported by membership contributions. The DJHS continues to expand its collection of oral histories, having gathered more than 300 personal interviews with well-known Dallas Jews since 1971.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s ALS Division helps search for treatments and therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). More than 30,000 American adults are living with ALS, with 5,000 people learning they have the disease each year. The MDA facilitates support groups for patients and families affected by ALS. MDA also operates 42 MDA/ALS centers across the country that specialize in ALS care and research, including the MDA/ALS Center of Dallas at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
“The MDA/ALS organization is very supportive to families coping with the diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease),” said Marty Weinberg, a past president and current board member of Tiferet Israel who is living with ALS.
Moishe House is an international organization providing Jewish experiences to young adults in their 20s. Its model trains, supports and sponsors young Jewish leaders as they create home-based communities for their peers. Currently, Dallas Moishe House residents Elissa Riesenfeld, Jaycee Greenblatt and Karli Ward, who have lived there since August, host five or six events each month; be it social, Jewish education or Jewish celebrations.
Last year’s Moishe House group won the beef division. This year’s trio is entering the turkey-chili competition.
“As Moishe House, we are thrilled to be a participant for a second year in the DKCC, and honored to be a beneficiary,” Greenblatt said. “We are also excited to engage our young adult community in this unique event. This event is a phenomenal representation of what the Dallas Jewish community can accomplish when we all work together.”
What: 20th annual Tiferet Israel Kosher Chili Cook-off
When: 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, March 10.
Where: Tiferet Israel, 10909 Hillcrest Road in Dallas
Cost: $10 adults; $5 children 4-10; free for children 3-younger
Teams registered for the Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off Sunday. A total of 50 teams are entered in the 20th annual event.
REGULAR CHILI DIVISION
Ann & Nate Levine Academy
Camp Nageela Midwest
Camp Young Judaea
Chabad of Dallas
Chabad of Plano
Chabad of Texas A&M
Dallas Jewish Historical Society
Dallas Holocaust Museum
Dallas Chapter of Hadassah
Dallas Hebrew Free Loan Assoc.
Dallas Kosher (Va’ad)
DATA Far North
DATA Sunday Experience
Far N. Dallas/Richardson Dems
Friends of Magen David Adom
Hebrew Men’s Poker Assoc.
Hillels of North Texas
JCC 1 – J Team
JCC 2 – Chai Campers
Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas
Jewish War Veterans
Legacy Senior Communities
Republican Jewish Coalition
Sephardic Torah Center
Tiferet Israel I
Torah Day School
Jewish Family Service
North Texas Mensa
Tiferet Israel II
Dallas Moishe House