PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - For the third consecutive year Ted Cole, Spider Munitions Lead Engineer, has earned the top spot in the installation's annual chili cook-off competition.

The event historically kicks off the Army Emergency Relief (AER) campaign each year and is a significant contributor to the overall total of funds raised for the benefit supporting Soldiers, retirees and military families.

Cole "three-peated" (a term coined by various sports teams that have won three or more consecutive championships) with what he calls "Ted's Sweet & Spicy Chili."

More than 150 tasters showed up for the March 4 competition, which raised $746.25 for the 2013 AER campaign.

"Second place RJ Slow and third place Pop's Bagel were both very good chilies this year, so I was lucky to get another win," said Cole.

"Winning three years in a row affirms that my chili recipe is pretty good," the chili champion said.

"This year I added shredded smoked pork and roasted jalapeno peppers. Adding that extra flavor to my recipe gave the chili a bolder sort of BBQ taste.

"When I had people coming back for second and third samples, I knew it was on the mark."

Top 3 chefs by popular vote
1st - Ted Cole for Ted's Sweet & Spicy Chili
2nd - Chris Greenley for RJ Slow
3rd - Paul Hemmingway for Firemen and Pop's

Secret Taster Tickets
Staff Sgt. Gary Miles for Manic Organic Chicken Chili
Mark Keck for Mark's Moroccan Chili
Paul Hemmingway for Firemen and Pop's

Donations presented by:
Picatinny Federal Credit Union: $1,500
National Defense Industrial Association: $250
National Contract Management Association: $250

Upcoming AER events
March 20 - AER BINGO, 11:30 a.m. at the Community Center
April 9-10 - AER Tricky Tray, Choices