HCLT Satulah-bration 2018 creates awareness and celebrates area
The annual Satulah-bration put on by Highlands Cashiers Land Trust is now in its third year and has become a tradition folks look forward to each fall.
“It’s a way to thank the community and it’s an awesome event,” said Julie Schott, HCLT development director. “People love the natural amenities of Highlands and Cashiers and they love food, so let’s get together and break bread.”
The weekend kicked off on Friday with a hike to the summit of Satulah Mountain from Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park. Satulah Mountain is the first property to be conserved by the Land Trust that now preserves over 3,000 acres of valuable land resources.
One of the biggest highlights of the event was the chili cookoff. Professionals and amateurs go toe to toe and are at the mercy of the public’s vote. Winning this year’s professional category was “Smoked Pig,” by Owner and Operator of Fresser’s Eatery Deb Grossman. Taking first in the amateur category was “Firehouse Chili,” by Andy and Dale Gordon, amateur runner-up was “Billy the Chili,” by Megan Quattlebaum Kelsey Reidle.
Michael Broich was visiting from Athens and in-between hikes stopped by for some chili. He said he was trying to narrow it down between the “Fire House” and the “Smoked Pig” as his favorite.
Broich’s friend Lucas Birch said everything they tried was top-notch.
“It’s difficult because they’re all on point and really good,” said Birch.
And these chefs put work and love into their chili. Grace McCants, HCLT’s AmeriCorps Member also gave crafting the perfect chili a try by entering her masterpiece “Grace’s Gobble,” that McCants and her mother spent eight hours creating.
“I was going for an old classic twist and I put a little pineapple juice in it and ended up with a smoky flavor,” said McCants.
But competition was fierce with entries like “Billy the Chili,” where Quattlebaum and Riedle joined forces using Scotch Ale in their chili-brew.
“It’s simple, good beer makes good chili,” said Quattlebaum. “We used the Scotch Ale with the blue cheese and fried onions to give it that depth of flavor that we wanted. We basically wanted to reach every taste bud in every taste bud area.”
Following the chili smack-down Satulah-bration goers played BINGO. HCLT Executive Director Gary Wein was the caller with each square being a property preserved by HCLT.
Dreams of victory and Bingo bragging rights were shattered when 7-year-old Adair Woolf boldly stepped forward and calmly said the word “Bingo,” taking home the coveted HCLT vest and other assorted goods.
“I’m just so excited,” said Woolf. “I’m really scared, but I’m excited.”
She added that the chili selections of the day were good, but some had a touch too-much spice.
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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