Beyond the Bio

Exceptional Flavor: RumbergerKirk’s Chili Stands Out at the Exceptional Foundation’s 20th Annual Chili Cook-Off

Exceptional Flavor: RumbergerKirk’s Chili Stands Out at the Exceptional Foundation’s 20th Annual Chili Cook-Off

Scott Williams’ classic chili recipe earns a semi-finalist showing at this year’s annual event

The Exceptional Foundation hosted the 20th Annual Chili Cook-Off – one of Birmingham’s most beloved fundraisers and traditions – on Saturday, March 2.  Guests who attended enjoyed live entertainment, kids’ activities, beverages, and, of course, all-you-can-eat chili from the teams competing for grand prizes and bragging rights.

RumbergerKirk’s Cookin’ Counselors Creating Tasty Chili at the Exceptional Foundation Chili Cook-Off

Congratulations to RumbergerKirk’s Cookin’ Counselors in the Birmingham office for being recognized as a semi-finalist this year. It is no small task to create a chili that will stand out among 151 other teams, but our team is always up for the challenge. Rebecca Beers, Fred Clarke, and Julie Potts assembled in the cool, early morning to help prepare (and then serve) Scott’s award-winning recipe. No strangers to this event, Scott has participated in 19 of the 20 years and it is our team’s 10th year participating as part of RumbergerKirk.

Scott’s classic chili recipe has received five trophies over the years: first place, second place (twice) and third place (twice). It includes the perfect blend of seasoning, ground beef and a special smoked sausage that gives it that something special. And, to be sure not to burn the delicious concoction, the team uses the double boiler method to produce the 15 gallons of chili for guests and judges to enjoy.

“The double boiler is key to not serving burnt chili at the end of the day,” said Scott. “I was lucky to have a good friend discover this method in the second or third year and I’ve been using it since.”

Fred and Julie take a well deserved break from cooking and serving.

“You never know what the judges will be looking for,” he added. “With so many varieties, there really is something for everyone and every kind of chili you can imagine. Being recognized is wonderful, but the real reward is the chance to see so many people in our community coming together to support a great cause.”

And come out they did. The number of participants and guests have reached pre-pandemic numbers resulting in an exceptional year for the Foundation with 13,000 people helping to raise $520,000 for the Exceptional Foundation’s programs.

The Exceptional Foundation enhances the quality of life for individuals of all ages with developmental challenges by providing social and recreational activities designed to promote healthy living, support social relationships, improve functional skills, and foster community involvement.

Learn more about The Exceptional Foundation.