LIMA — The Shawnee Township Police and Fire Departments garnered first place in the second annual Battle of the Badges Chili Cook-Off at Lima Harley-Davidson on Saturday. The Lima Police Department came in second beating out the Allen County Sheriff’s Office and the Bath Township Fire Department.
“We had a good turnout today. It could have been better. When we planned the event there wasn’t an Ohio State football game scheduled and when they announced that, we knew that was going to affect our participation but we decided to go through with it anyway,” said Tara Joyce, manager of the Lima Harley-Davidson dealership.
For $2, people could try five kinds of chili, cooked by representatives from the police or fire departments and then they could choose which one they thought was the best.
“Well, the spiciest one is the most normal chili. It tastes the best to me that I’m used to,” said Lil Cuban from Alexandria, Indiana.
The combined effort help Shawnee defeat last year’s champ the American Township Fire Department.
“American Township beat us last year, and I thought to myself, I’m going to change something and I’m going to try and do better and that’s what makes it friendly. We just we enjoy it. It’s just who’s a better cook,” said Bryon Stumbaugh, captain with the Shawnee Township Fire Department.
Stumbaugh admitted he went the extra mile with this batch of chili.
“I smoked my hamburger at night. That’s one of the secrets but my profile was a smoke and then it was a little spicy to the first taste, but that spice went away,” Stumbaugh said.
He says he also makes his special chili for fellow firefighters at the station and makes up some for a campout at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds in the fall.
“There’s a chili cook-off there, but this year they didn’t have it. Last year I did second place there and second place here. It’s like I’m gonna get this, I’m close. So I finally came out on top,” Stumbaugh said.
The $250 in prize money will go back into the department to help improve the cuisine there.
“What we’ll do is we’ll buy some cooking supplies or something like that for the station, new pans, new pots, maybe something some of the guys can all use,” Stumbaugh said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.