Fort Walker community brings the heat to chili cookoff
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Fort Walker Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Bailey and Latasha Woolfolk served as tow of the judges for the Fort Walker Chili Cook Off. They are served by Latasha Handy, who helped plan and decorate for the event. (Photo Credit: Christopher Hall) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fort Walker community brings the heat to chili cookoff
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Winners of the 2024 Fort Walker Chili Cook Off are (from left to right): Alex Self (third place), Chris Hall (second place), and Jessica Glusing (first place). (Photo Credit: Will Marjenhoff) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT WALKER, Va. – Crock pots lined the walls of the Beaverdam Conference Center February 8, all of them bubbling away with delicious variants of chili. Garrison employees, tenants, and even some Department of Defense retirees, brought their favorite recipes for the judges to sample, then for everyone to share.

Established in 2023, the Chili Cook Off has quickly become one of the most popular events on the garrison.  Chilis of all varieties are lined up along folding tables awaiting the judging panel, who must undertake the "gastric gauntlet" by sampling all submissions. This year, there was a wide range of options, from traditional beef, to white bean and chicken, to a wild-game wildcard entry who incorporated beaver, squirrel, and deer in their submission.

When all votes were tallied, the winner of the Chili Cook Off was Jessica Glusing, budget analyst who simply named her entry “Basic Chili”. She took home a gold medal, a “first place” chef’s hat and an Army and Air Force Exchanges Services gift card. Second and and third place winners also received medals, hats and gift cards.

Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Jason Duffy said, “I love when we can gather at events like this to share meals, swap stories, and build camaraderie, because relationships and cohesive teams are not built over email or Teams meetings."