The judges are Jamon Sellman, Mark Feinstein, Cortney Porter, Mark Runyan and Pam Bowshier.
Jamon was born in Ohio, spent three of his teen years in Chile experiencing some of the best South American and Mediterranean cuisine and local dishes available. He has traveled to 12 European countries, Central America and four South American countries sampling local cuisines and discovering new ways to enjoy food. “I LOVE good food, and I enjoy quality ingredients with unique twists” says Jamon.
Mark has been an avid “foodie” for decades. His love of cooking and all things culinary led him to open two restaurants, including the NottaDog Café on the Square in Urbana. The restaurant makes everything from scratch, using Mark’s recipes for it all – including the dogs themselves. He has traveled the country in search of culinary delights and is eager to try out the offerings of the contestants.
Cortney is a certified chef, graduating from Columbus State Community College Chef Apprenticeship Program in 2003. She served as special events director at CAPA in Columbus, planning twenty plus memorable galas which raised over $3.1 million for the performing arts in central Ohio. She was Executive Sous Chef at Shane’s Gourmet Catering for 12 years, cooking for events with as many as 1,000-plus guests. Currently she is the director of culinary development and events at The Woodruff Farm in Urbana. The farm has a market, event venue, and soon an onsite farm-to-fork restaurant, of which she will be the General Manager and menu consultant.
Mark returned to Urbana following graduation from OSU with a degree in agriculture. The family farm produced and sold purebred hogs internationally for over 40 years and his main focus has been pork quality – the taste, flavor and tenderness of the meat for the consumer. He opened the Oakview Farm Meat Shop and Oakview Promotional Trailer which sells frozen pork from the farm and beef and chicken produced by neighboring farms. He partnered with Pam Bowshier of Cosmic Charlie Breads to form Hippie and the Farmer Catering business and Champaign Locally Grown On-Line twelve month farmers market, both located at the Oakview Farms Meat Shop.
Pam Bowshier, moved to Urbana from Florida in 1999. She launched her bread baking business, Cosmic Charlie Baking and Bread following success at local farmers’ markets. She co-managed The Mechanicburg Farmers and Artisans Market and had a shop in downtown Springfield featuring her baked goods and vintage/mod clothing. Moving the shop to Urbana in 2015, she helped to bring the community commercial kitchen plan to fruition with the Local Foods Council, co-chaired the Art Affair, and served on the boards of the Monument Square District and the Local Foods Council of Champaign County. Hooking up with Mark Runyan of Oakview Farms at the local farm markets and creating great sandwiches with their products, led to the creation of Hippie and the Farmer Catering Business. They grow organic produce, offer upscale farm to table catering, host events, parties and private dinners and operate a full scale, fully licensed commercial kitchen at the Oakview Market. “Knowing where your food comes from, how it tastes, how inventive a dish is, and how it is grown has always been of most importance to me. I demand high quality, I provide high quality in my businesses and I acknowledge and applaud fellow foodies who feel the same. I am honored to be part of the judging team for this year’s Chili Cook-off, and will be looking for that one chili that offers a taste explosion to really impress me!” said Pam.
The audience can participate in judging their favorite chili by purchasing beads and dropping them in the container at the booth that created their favorite chili. The “Peoples Choice Chili” winner earns a trophy and “bragging rights”!
In addition to the contests, the festival includes a corn hole tournament, dunk tank, music, and lots of great food, ensuring a day of fun for the entire family!
Kicks Off 'Seven Seafood Saturdays of Fall'
Online reservations for festival food and drive-thru onsite ordering and pickup will also be available for the first time. Online reservations can be made prior to each festival day at fwfarms.com/shop or by calling 937-652-3701.
Some seating will still be provided under tents and in the stage area, but visitors are encouraged to bring seating if possible. New expanded areas for enjoying the food and music will be provided around the farm.
All seven Saturdays will feature the best of area food trucks and seafood specialties from the kitchens of Freshwater Farms, along with craft beers, wine, margaritas and other beverages.
The festival also offers:
Fish & Shrimp Festival Bands
6:00-7:30pm, Will Freed Band – Featuring singer/songwriter/guitarist Will Freed, based in Columbus and formerly West Virginia and Kansas City, Missouri, performs a mix of acoustic rock, soul and blues. Freed was a regular for seven years at Cranberry Resort at Indian Lake.
8:00-10:00pm, Laredo Band, performing since 1988, has opened for many top country artists such as George Jones (twice) and Trace Adkins. The six band members, from Champaign and surrounding counties, play country, southern rock, gospel and other musical styles.
6:00-7:30pm, The Usual Suspects has been performing in central Ohio since 2009. The nine-piece band includes a four-piece horn section – two saxes, a trumpet and a trombone – that anchors a fat, full, danceable sound. The band’s repertoire includes music of The Blues Brothers, Bruno Mars, Eric Clapton, The Commodores, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Etta James, Tower of Power and Chicago.
8:00-10:00pm, Locking Up Otis, a three-piece ensemble, plays ‘60s to ‘80s music. Band members have opened for a wide range of artists such as Alice Cooper, The Turtles, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, Jonny Lang, Foghat, Iron Butterfly, Johnny Paycheck and the Edgar Winter Group.
6:00-7:30pm, Seefari is an award-winning, critically acclaimed reggae/world music band that has toured the world and headlined festivals across the U.S. The band mixes the soulful sound of classic reggae of the ‘70s and ‘80s with dub, rock, jazz, Latin and African influences.
8:00-10:00pm, Big Gil's Blues and His Funky All-Stars bring high energy to their mix of the blues, contemporary jazz, R&B and old school funk, with a touch of Motown. Leading on trombone, Big Gil creates a soul stirring event for his band’s audiences. Mentored by the late, great bluesman Piney Brown, Big Gil was an original member of the funk group Slave.
October Halloween Bash Bands
In addition to delicious selections of food and the following bands, Halloween Bash will feature fall activities like hay wagon rides around the fish farm, eco-farmed produce and pumpkin picking patch, a bonfire, costume contests and pirate ship rides to the after-dark “Spooky Pirate Treasure Adventure”.
6:00-7:30pm, Ladies of Longford, performing for over 20 years, serve up a unique blend of contemporary Celtic, traditional Irish and fresh acoustic styles with superb vocal harmonies and musicianship. 8-10 p.m., Dulahan draws on contemporary and traditional Celtic music with subtle hints of roots/Americana music. The four band members combine powerful three- and four-part vocal harmonies with multiple layers of acoustic instrumentation.
6:00-7:30pm, Anna and the Consequences conjure up the sounds of a New York cabaret with a song list that spans over 100 years of popular music, including jazz, pop and blues – plus songs from the last decade, performed with a twist, and some saucy originals. 8-10 p.m., Deuce 'N a Quarter is a hard driving blues machine fronted by the powerful voice and wailing harmonica of Brian Peters. The band's forte is original music, a respectful tribute to blues legends. The band is completed by Jeffrey Allen's masterful guitar work, John Sipher's melodic touch on the keys, Martin O. Brown's bass groove and the hypnotic pocket of Andre Scott on drums.
6:00-7:30pm, Dawna is an eclectic rock band from Columbus that pays homage to American roots, blues, jazz and country, creating soundscapes and adventurous imagery that takes listeners on a fun, thoughtful and soulful journey. 8-10 p.m., Peter Madcat Ruth and the C.A.R.Ma Quartet perform traditional and improvisational music, led by Grammy Award-winning Peter Madcat Ruth, who has established an international reputation on the harmonica, playing blues, folk, jazz, country, rock and roll, and world music.
6:00-7:30pm, The Hedgehog String Band features songwriter Bob Lucas, his daughter, Chloe Manor, and her husband, Chris Westhoff. Not drawing the line at old time traditional music, they also dive into contemporary music. Lucas’s 1972 release, “The Dancer Inside of You,” received a four-star rating from Downbeat Magazine, with two of the songs recorded by Newgrass Revival. Alison Krauss has also recorded Bob Lucas compositions. And he’s admired regionally for his work with Mad River Theater Works.
8:00-10:00pm, Hardtackers will accompany the festival’s seafood with sounds of the sea – that is, their close harmony renditions of sea shanties, the traditional folk songs of the crews of merchant sailing vessels. They serve up their tunes – old and new – with a good measure of witty banter and history. Based in landlocked Columbus, the Hardtackers say, “We sing songs about seas, lakes, rivers, canals — anything wet.” Even a fish farm.
For more information, visit fwfarms.com/festival.
Applications and participation rules are available online at www.chilicookoffofurbana.com. Entries are limited to the first 50 teams (a team is limited to 4 members) and there is a discount for registering early. Save half price on the entry fee if received by Sept. 10, 2021.
The cook-off is sponsored by the Monument Square District and is held in conjunction with the Hoopla Parade featuring the Dayton Antioch Shriners. Applications for the parade are available on the Chili festival website and 4-H groups, church groups, ball teams and area bands are invited to join the fun.
View the The Grimes Flying Lab
Built in 1952 by Grimes Manufacturing and used by engineers to test and evaluate aircraft exterior lighting systems during flight. This is a must see!
In addition to food trucks, the Airport Cafe will be open serving a full menu and the famous "Airport Pie"! The balloons will launch at 6:00 pm followed by a pizza or wings eating contest. On Saturday, September 11th at 5:30 pm, a memorial recognition of the 9/11 tragic events will be held. Closing the evening will be the balloon glow at approximately 8:00 - 8:30 pm; an awesome display of light and color! Bring your lawn chair and enjoy an evening of family fun.
All balloon activities are subject to wind conditions at the time of launch and glow.
“The Chamber is looking forward to returning to an in-person event this year and to celebrate the business community and our members after what has been a very trying year for everyone. We want to make this a celebration and a coming together of our members and the whole community in what will be a fun and entertaining evening”, says Executive Director, Sara Neer.
The cost to attend the event is $50 per person, $95 per couple, and $360 for a table of 8. Reservations may be made by emailing email@example.com or by calling 937-653-5764.
Nominations for Awards Being Accepted Through September 30th
The Champaign County Chamber is also accepting nominations through September 30th for the annual Simon Volunteer of the Year Award, which will be presented during the Annual Meeting. The Simon Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to a person or organization that has significantly contributed to improving the quality of life of Champaign County. The nomination form can be found here. Forms also may be obtained by calling 937-653-5764 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.