This is hardly a new phenomenon – all throughout history, the hearth and the dinner table have formed the center of family and community life. It was likely around the communal campfire that our distant ancestors first developed the art of storytelling. Indeed, when early humans first learned to cook their food, they drastically reduced the time and energy needed to find and digest raw foods, which is what allowed them—and now us—to reroute energy and brain cells to things like language in the first place. Scientists believe that cooking our food resulted in a 20 percent increase in human brain size.
In Vermillion, we know the power of a shared meal. Just to give you two examples: the Welcome Table has been serving a community meal ever Monday night for more than a decade, and the Vermillion Area Arts Council (VAAC)’s Art of Sustainability event this October, which coupled art, music, and environmental awareness with the Vermillion Area Farmer’s Market’s Harvest Festival dinner, was a resounding success. Food brings people together like nothing else.
Bearing this in mind, we at the VAAC are proud this year to continue what has become a Vermillion tradition: Chili Blues. Sponsored by Carey’s Bar and set to begin at 6:00pm on Saturday 16 November at the Washington Street Arts Center (202 Washington St), this annual chili cook-off brings together chefs both amateur and professional from across the Vermillion community, giving them a chance to display their culinary prowess – and giving the rest of us a chance to sample the best darn chili in town for only $10 at the door ($8 for VAAC members). With all that plus great music from local musicians Picks Bows y Amigos and a chance to vote for your favorite chili (with prizes for the winners!), we hope you’ll join us in keeping alive a tradition of food, fun, and fellowship that’s as old as humanity itself.
--Tom Emanuel, VAAC Events Chair
For more information or to participate in Chili Blues, please contact the VAAC at vaacboard@yahoo.