Camaraderie at Tummy Warmer Cook-off
By Bert Lehman
Winning is nice, but if you ask most of the contestants who participated in the 27th Tummy Warmer Cook-off on Saturday, Jan. 23, that’s not their main goal.
Contestants in the Tummy Warmer competed in the following categories: mild chili, hot chili, chicken soup, and a miscellaneous category. Each entry was judged on appearance, aroma, creativity/uniqueness, texture, taste/flavor, and aftertaste.
Brian Markiewicz, who was competing in this third Tummy Warmer, said he was hoping to pull off a win. He added that he enjoys the competition.
“I come here to have fun,” Markiewicz said. “If I win that’s a bonus.”
Mary Tullberg was competing in her first Tummy Warmer. She may have been a rookie, but she was familiar with the competition as he mom was a contestant for many years.
“She took a lot of firsts,” Tullberg said.
Tullberg made a homemade dumpling for the Tummy Warmer.
“It’s a really good, fun, enjoyable time,” she said.
Ut N. Gleisner competed in the chicken soup category as well as the miscellaneous category.
“I enjoy cooking and this is always fun and something for me to look forward to every year,” he said.
Debbie Bettin was competing in her second Tummy Warmer. Her husband was the first to participate in the contest.
“Now it’s like we’re in competition,” Bettin said.
Dick Gussert was the veteran contestant. He said he has competed in the Tummy Warmer every year since the early 1990s.
“It’s enjoyable,” Gussert said. “We enjoy the competition and the camaraderie with people.”
The Tummy Warmer has become a family affair for Gussert as his grandchildren Elias Minshell and Lorelei Krueger were there helping him.
“We’re getting the little ones involved with this. Hopefully they stay with it,” Gussert said.
Minshell, who is a student at St. Rose St. Mary’s Catholic School in Clintonville, said he has learned a lot while helping his grandpa make chili. He said he enjoys learning about all the different types of peppers that are available.
When asked what his favorite part of helping make the chili was, Minshell didn’t hesitate when responding, “Probably eating it.”