GREENVILLE — In its six-year history, Don Hoffman has won Fram’s annual cook-off twice; the very first one and the one that was held Friday at the local plant.
When asked when the competition began, he remembers it well.
“That’s when my youngest daughter was born,” said Hoffman, a first-shift worker at Fram. “That day I had to go and get my wife and the baby from the hospital.”
Hoffman said he does all of the grilling and makes all of the chili at their home in Ithaca while his wife, Cari, does the rest of the food preparation. There are four children, Alex, a freshman in college, Ethin and Madyson, high school freshmen, and Rees, a kindergarten student.
Hoffman, a 21-year employee at Fram, would not divulge the secret ingredient in his entry, but did say he does use Spicy V-8 Juice.
Hoffman, who enters the contest every year and usually makes it to the finals, won a trophy for his efforts this year.
Second place overall went to second-shift employee Renee Bertram.
“I make my with tomato puree, not tomato juice or tomato paste,” she said. “My father, Perry Oliver, always used it [the puree] in his recipe.”
The third-place finisher in the competition was Abigail Singer, who works third shift.
According to the organizers, there were four entries on third shift; eight on first shift; and three on second.
Additional winners were: (first shift) Annette Bradburn, second place; and John Staub/Bruce Treiber’s combined chili, third place; (second shift) Tom Singer, second, and Ed Robbins Jr., third place; and (third shift) Darla Orians, second place.
All entrants in the contest received $1o worth of AVI bucks to use in the cafeteria.
Organizing the chili cook-off this year were members of the activities group, comprised of Bruce Treiber, Sarah Crow, Pam Clark, Jeanine Pearson, Karen Jay and Debbie Green. Also on hand to assist with the second-shift competition were Pam Wiechman, quality manager, and Javed Gardezi, engineering manager.
Those employees who ate the chili but did not enter the contest were asked to make donations, which are going to March of Dimes. A total of $370 was collected for the cause.
Judges at the three contests included Greenville Mayor Mike Bowers, Greenville firefighters and The Daily Advocate.