I was inspired to enter this competition to commemorate John Wilson, a fallen firefighter who was a professional chef, Mentor, and close friend to me. John was not just a mentor to me as a Firefighter but also as a firehouse cook and a father. John and I made many meals for the crews over the years, during which we shared many stories and laughs together. Tragically he was killed in an accident leaving a wife, three sons, and a devastated fire department. In his honor we created a Scholarship to provide tuition for one individual in need to attend EMT, Paramedic, and Fire academy every year. I entered my first recipe competition to help fund Johns scholarship and was able to win and give the first donation of $10,000. Since then there has been over a half dozen at need recipients of the scholarship who have been given this amazing opportunity to become public servants in our community, in a career we feel honored and privileged to serve in.
Upon hearing of the competition, I was inspired to create a chili recipe that embodies my home town and it's culinary experience. People take great pride in their chili’s because it represents their local culture and customs. That’s when I realized Miami needed its own Chili style to represent the flavor and influence of the community that I was immersed in as I grew up there. After much care and experimenting, I believe that I have captured the Heart beat and soul of the ethnic smells and flavors which have placed Miami on the culinary map. Having used Hormel products in the creation of my Miami inspired chili, I feel very confident that I will not just be selected as a semifinalist, but will once again bring honor to the John Wilson Scholarship, the Fallen Fire Fighter Foundation, and now, Hormel Foods, Inc.