News / 10.16.18

Epstein's Chili Cook-Off 2018

Start your crockpots!

Cool weather is the perfect time to duck dive into a nice warm bowl of chili. Precisely why Epstein invited chili chefs and connoisseurs alike to partake in a company-wide chili cook-off!

And the competition was fierce, with only one vote separating the first and second place winners.

1st Place: “Last of the Renegades,” made by Judy Sells on behalf of the PM Group. Judy inherited her prizewinning recipe from her grandmother, who emigrated from Mexico to the United States in 1914. As such, the recipe features Mexican notes including ancho chiles, pasilla chiles and Mexican oregano. Surprisingly, Judy’s grandmother’s original recipe didn’t start out as a chili; just an hours-long slow-roasted pot roast. One day, Judy shredded the roast, added beans and a tomato-base and turned it into a chili, incorporating all the herbs and spices used to make the roast!


2nd Place: “White Fang,” John Lach and Jake Effinger’s submission on behalf of the Structural Group. Contrary to the name, this recipe is not white nor does it have fangs (although it may provide a bit of a nip if you are sensitive to spicy foods). This decades-old recipe of unknown origin focuses on the more health conscious chili eaters with a base of lean ground turkey, tomatoes, zucchini and corn. It is geared toward the busy, hard-working, urban eater with a prep and cooking time of less than one hour. The variety of spices and seasonings make this chili a perfect stand-alone dish, which won’t leave you disappointed even if your cheese and sour cream expired months ago. Its flexibility allows for the substitution of beans and additional veggies for ground turkey, should those less carnivorous chili eaters want to play along.

"Clearly this delicious dish deserves a top rating at any dinner table!"


The additional participating departments, associated team captains and Spaghetti Western names assigned to each team’s chili for anonymity include:

  • Civil – Kyle Howeler – The Silent Stranger
  • Structural – John Lach – White Fang
  • Architecture – Randy Buescher – The Return of Ringo
  • Interiors – Andrew Pape – Challenge to White Fang
  • Electrical/MEP – Jeff Kroenung – Storm Rider
  • Industrial Process – Jeff Beran – Arizona Colt
  • Project Management – Judy Sells – Last of the Renegades
  • BD/Marketing – Randy Tharp – The Coyote’s Justice

Thanks to our participants and congratulations to the victors!