chili festival competition

Cicily comes from a long line of fabulous cooks. Her maternal grandmother, who immigrated to the United States from Poland in 1899, cooked for weddings and banquets at Pulaski Hall, and kept a whole neighborhood from starving during the Great Depression. Her mother was making coq au vin and boeuf bourguignon for supper when the neighbors were serving Campbell's tomato soup and Pop Tarts. Her sister, Leslie, for many years owned a restaurant and coffee shop. She's the woman who says, "If you're going to light the oven to make a pie, you might as well make four." Cicily attended Smith College, where dining was taken seriously: house dining rooms, dressing for dinner, cloth napkins and tablecloths, after-dinner demitasse in the parlor, wine and candlelight on Wednesdays, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding on Sundays.

If you've grown up eating nothing but delicious food, you are eventually going to have to learn how to make it yourself. No amount of money and access to restaurants can guarantee the exact flavors you crave, when you crave them. Cicily, who was the proverbial bride who couldn't boil water, by dint of practicing for over 40 years has become a fair cook and is interested in all things culinary. She writes frequently about food and wine, loves nothing better than a food- or wine-related press trip to Lyon or Chouilly or Umbria, and proudly displays in her kitchen the "golden spoon" she won at the 19th Annual New England Chili Festival. Here's a link to an article about that event: