Stew, Chili & Brew
ingredients, recipes key to
Elks triumph last year
(October 2007) Secret ingredients, special recipes
and even a trip to Louisiana have all the markings of a covert spy operation.
In this situation, however, those elements were all combined to produce
the winning stew at the 2006 Madison Area Chamber of Commerces
Soup, Stew, Chili & Brew competition.
Last year, despite the loss of their historic building due to a fire,
Madison, Ind.s Elks Club rallied its resources and won one of
the categories in the annual chamber event. At this years Soup,
Stew, Chili & Brew event, club members hope to claim another victory.
The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, along
Madisons Main Street, from Jefferson Street to West Street.
The Elks plan to raffle a basket full of fall goodies and will entertain
the crowds with recorded Cajun music.
We wanted people to realize the Elks Club is still strong and
active in the community, said Debbie Lockridge, a seven-year employee
of the organization. She helped organize the clubs participation
in the event.
Club member Don Wells supplied the recipe for a shrimp gumbo that secured
the victory in the stew category. Wells made a trip to Louisiana to
get the shrimp for the gumbo. He actually went out on a shrimp boat
with a friend and caught all of the shrimp he donated for the gumbo.
The crowds loved the stew, said Lockridge. We sold
out quickly and could have sold much more.
This year, Wells is cooking up another special gumbo that may include
chicken and sausage. Really, the secret to the whole process is
in how you put everything together, he said. Its the
little things you do that add up.
He said many people last year questioned him about not adding okra to
the seafood gumbo. True Cajuns do not add okra to seafood; however,
my chicken and sausage gumbo this year will have okra in it.
Besides winning the stew competition, the Elks took third place in the
brew division and a fourth place in the chili category. Elks Club member
Chuck McAfee brewed up a special concoction that may have included Dr.
Pepper as one of the ingredients.
Its a secret brew, and he wont tell us what he put
in it, said Lockridge. This year should be another good one for
the secret recipe.
David Wolf, another member keeping mum about his tasty chili recipe,
has been practicing to perfect it before the upcoming competition. Oh,
he makes fabulous chili, said Lockridge. This year his recipe
should be even better than before.
The Elks Club is only one of 20 to 30 teams expected to compete in the
annual competition. From the first event in 2003, the outdoor food and
music festival has been a popular fundraiser for community groups, including
Jefferson County United Way, Girls Inc. of Jefferson County, and the
local Humane Society. Many for-profit businesses also participate.
We encourage restaurants and anyone interested to join in the
fun, said Laura Hodges, the chambers marketing director
and event coordinator.
There are four categories in which participants compete for small trophies
and bragging rights. These are homemade soups, homemade stews, chili
and non-alcoholic brews, such as spiced cider and coffees.
In its fifth year, Hodges said the festival is growing each year and
becoming a favorite with locals. She estimated about 1,500 to 2,000
people visited the downtown festival last year, although exact numbers
are not known because admission to the event is free.
In addition to the cooking competitions, there will be a variety of
family-friendly activities including a corn hole tournament and giant
inflatables for children. The corn hole tournament was a great
success last year, said event chairperson Deana Williams. Last
year we had 10 teams sign up, but this year we expect more.
There will be live music throughout the festival including performances
by Abby and John Walburn, Andra Bladen and Jack Ulery, the Marsh Family
Band, singer-songwriter Jimmy Mundane, and a performance by the Madison
High School Drama Club.
For information on the festival or to sign up
to compete, contact Laura Hodges at the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce
at (812) 265-3135, Ext,. 254.
Back to October 2007