SUNDAY – Jun. 12, 2011

5 Alarm Mountain Madness Regional

The 2nd Annual 5 Alarm Mountain Madness Regional Chili Cookoff at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA had good crowds,good weather ( until the last 20 minutes), and good bands. It also had Great Cooks, a Great Location and a Great Chairperson. We were happy to see cooks from PA, MD, VA, WV, OH, KY, NJ, CA, and FL. We also were graced with the presence of 2 of the reigning World Champions and 1 former World Champion. This was our 2nd year as chief judge and scorekeeper and it was a blast. Ashli Mazer and the entire staff at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort bent over backward for the cooks. We had a catered cooks party Friday night and fantastic accomodations (including nearly 3 city blocks of townhomes) in front of the pool and zebra enclosure( yes, you read that right – zebra in the backyard and lions in the front). Being so close to the buffalo too, not only could we roam from one house to another, we could frolic like cooks do as well.

 We had almost all of the judges from last year return and added some new judges to the fold. The judges were very serious and they were as quiet as church mice as they scrutinized every last bowl and from what I read, left good comments. In addition to our now “regular” set of judges, Tom Hoover, stepped to the finals table to judge the best of what Nemacolin had to offer.


So to the results…

 Salsa (18 salsa entries)

 3rd Christian Parker – Virginia

2nd Tom Hoover  – Ohio

1st Laurie Midgley Ryffel  – Maryland


Verde (19 Verde entries) This was a good batch of verdes. Every single entry got a point.

 3rd Jim Neves  – Ohio

2nd Matt Bush  – West Virginia

1st Tom Hoover  – Ohio


Red (31 entries)

 5th Matt Bush  – West Virginia

4th Beverly King  – Virginia

3rd Matt Levy  – Pennsylvania

2nd Sally Shenk  – Pennsyvania

1st Kit Hoff  – Ohio


We would like to personally thank: Diane Lentz, for helping Kim and I from set up to tear down, and being her usual “Southern Belle” self. Jim Parker, for helping set up the judging area and keeping the the drinks and spoons on move. Tom Hoover, for judging the finals table and being the center of attention.


Like I said last year, if you haven’t been to this cookoff you are missing out on one of the most well run, cook friendly events that I’ve ever been to. Ashli Mazer and the group at Nemacolin know the definition of hospitality. Next year promises to be just as good. If anyone wants any information feel free to contact me.

 Thank you

 Ghon & Kim Eckley


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