Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

 

Annual Chili Cook-off Spices up Perris

Merrcy Moore and her father, Tim Moore, slice chili peppers while preparing their chili at the recent cook-off at American Legion Post 595 in Perris
Merrcy Moore and her father, Tim Moore, slice chili peppers while preparing their chili at the recent cook-off at American Legion Post 595 in Perris.

Chili cooks from throughout Riverside County gathered at American Legion Post 595 in Perris armed with their own blend of special herbs and spices to whip up their favorite concoctions while raising money for a variety of good causes.
The legion’s annual chili cook-off raises money for an assortment of youth programs that promote patriotism, Americanism and civic pride. 

This year’s cooking competition also provided other worthwhile causes--like Friends of the Perris Library, breast cancer awareness groups and veterans support services—a venue to pass out information and sell merchandise to raise needed funds.

The long recession has taken its toll on American Legion posts across the country, said Jim Bieger, the First Vice-Commander of American Legion District 21, which includes the Perris post. Bieger also is a member of Post 595.

“This is an important event for us,” Bieger said.

Former Army Ranger Tracy Philippi came from Idyllwild to whip up a batch of chili. Proceeds from the cook-off went to support a wide variety of causes
Former Army Ranger Tracy Philippi came from Idyllwild to whip up a batch of chili. Proceeds from the cook-off went to support a wide variety of causes.

In addition to the chili cookers, Post 595 members also held a car show featuring classic coupes, convertibles, muscle cars and station wagons. Bieger said more than 100 people attended the chili cook-off and car show.

“Things went really well,” Bieger said. “We had a good time. Everybody enjoyed themselves.”

Tim Moore and his daughter, Merrcy Moore, formed one of the chili-cooking teams. The pair cooked up both red and green chili for the competition. The red chili recipe consisted of “good ground beef” and several fresh chili peppers, Tim Moore said. No beans. Seasonings.

The recipe for green chili included pork roast and seasonings. Nothing more specific. Chili cooks don’t divulge their recipes in great detail.

Tim Moore said he participated in the cook-off because the proceeds go for good causes.

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans sold Christmas ornaments and other items to raise funds at the chili cook-off
Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans sold Christmas ornaments and other items to raise funds at the chili cook-off.

“The American Legion supports a lot of youth programs,” he said. “It’s a great day. Good weather, good people, good cause.”

Former Army Ranger Tracy Philippi came from Idyllwild to take part.

“This is a different atmosphere,” Philippi said. “We’re up in the mountains. This is the flatlands.  It’s nice to come to Perris for the camaraderie and to help out people.”

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans worked a booth at the chili cook-off and car show. She said raising money for good causes is something American Legionnaires have supported for decades. The former Marine has served in many capacities at Post 595.

“There are lots of great causes to support here today,” Evans said. “It’s great to be able to support veterans’ causes and other important issues in the City of Perris.”