LPD, CEDARS youth shelter hosts inaugural ‘Chili with the Chief’ cook-off

LPD and CEDARS youth shelter hosted the inaugural 'Chili with the Chief' Cookoff on Wednesday.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 6:05 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Depending on where you grew up, you may have either paired your chili with cinnamon rolls, or even cornbread. On Wednesday, two community organizations joined forces to bring both traditions to the table.

On Wednesday, Lincoln Police Chief Teresa Ewins and kids at the CEDARS youth shelter in Lincoln came together and participated in the inaugural ‘Chili with the Chief’ cook-off.

The kids made side dishes of cinnamon rolls, cornbread, and beef chili, while Chief Ewins made her own personal white turkey chili recipe to compete for the best chili award.

“Our goal especially on things like this is for years down the line, the kids don’t look back and say ‘Oh this is the spring break I had to spend in a shelter,” Allyson Rickertsen, Program Director of CEDARS Crisis Stabilization Emergency Shelter said. “We want them to look back and say ‘this is the spring break I got to meet a mayor, and we had a chili cook-off with the chief.’”

Judges of the two chilis included local dignitaries like Dish’s Executive Chef Rachel McGill, Butterfly Bakery’s Katie Dunn, and Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.

The three judges ranked both chilis on a scale from one to five, and in a close call, the CEDARS chili edged Chief Ewins’ chili by one vote.

“The chili was amazing,” Mayor Gaylor Baird said. “It was great to meet some of the youth here who helped it all come together. Raising their expectations for the future is what this is all about.”

Both Chief Ewins and CEDARS are aiming to keep this a yearly tradition with other dish possibilities for the future.