The Coast News Group

Fire departments turn up the heat in annual contest

OCEANSIDE — The latest annual battle of the chilis between the Oceanside and Vista fire departments took place Jan. 24 at the Aegis at Shadowridge senior residence. The friendly competition raised $700, which was split between the two cities to be spent on charities of their choice.
Oceanside’s Dan Foch was the department’s star chef. The old hand has won many awards with his homemade recipe featuring beef and lamb.
“It’s been a fun time, but I’m going to retire soon,” he said. “I’m sure there’s going to be someone to replace me, though.”
But it was Vista’s chili, made by David Kennedy, which was declared the winner after garnering 58 percent of the votes cast by attendees. The prize was an additional $350 donated by Aegis at Shadowridge.
“It’s a way for us to say thank you to the fire departments,” Aegis Vice President of Operations Renato Alesiani said. “They helped us tremendously during fires that we had because our Escondido facility was literally yards from the flames.”
“I think it’s so important,” Councilman Bob Campbell said of Aegis’ hosting the event. “It’s giving back to the community, but also building a community.”
Aegis of Shadowridge hopes to be able to host next year’s competition.
“This turned out to be so much fun and next year’s is going to be so much better,” Aegis’ Marketing Director Michele Besinger said.