Chili cookoff to raise funds for school

Tony Parra

The First Annual Chili Cook-off is ‘in the oven’ and it will be hot and ready by 5 p.m. today at the Portales High School cafeteria.
The idea for the event was brewing in an art class room last December, when one of the students made the suggestion. Lou Sikes, a Portales art teacher, said the students began decorating the art work for the event before Christmas break.
There will be three categories for the event: mild chili, hot chili and best overall. The hottest chili will get 10 percent, mildest chili will get 10 percent and the best overall will receive 20 percent of the pot. The students are selling chili bowls for $4 each.
The remaining 60 percent of the profits go to the art department.
Sikes said there will be 10 participants in chili cook-off: Portales National Bank, The Spanish Club, Big Valley Auto, The Roosevelt General Hospital, New Mexico American Mortgage, Daylight Donuts, Antonio Salaz and Glenn Johnson.
The Portales National Bank entry will be a joint effort between Sharon Brown and Terra Benson. Brown said bank President David Stone purchased at least 25 tickets for the employees.
Brown said if her and Benson’s chili wins then its money will fund the PHS tennis team. The bank’s entry is in the best overall category.
Brown’s son Logan is a sophomore on the tennis team.
They will have to go up against a couple of entries that involve the Salaz household. Antonia Salaz, a Spanish teacher at PHS, will be making the Spanish Club entry with the help of eight Spanish Club members. Her husband, Antonio, will have an entry in the contest.
“He’s the champion chili-maker of the house,” Antonia said. “He usually makes hot, red chili. He’s always saying that I have to add more garlic.”
The Spanish Club entry will be green chile chili, while Antonio’s entry will be red chile chili.
The people can purchase the $4 chili bowls and then they will taste-test the entries.
“The students all have been decorating during art classes,” Sikes said. “They have been painting and glazing them (chili-bowls). We’ve got about 300 bowls for the contest.”
Sikes estimated 150 students from the National Honor Society and art classes will be help with the cook-off.
The rest of the proceeds will go to the art department for the purchase of potter’s wheels. Sikes said potter’s wheels start at $900 each and the art department would like to have 10.