For the last 25 years, Eddy Dumire has protected the residents of Dale City, VA as a volunteer firefighter. He's also kept his fellow firefighter's bellies full with delicious bowls of chili over the years.

Now, he's sharing it with all of us!

Eddy beat out firefighters from around the country to win Hormel Chili's "America's Best Firehouse Chili Contest", taking home a $10,000 Grand Prize.

Eddy plans to use that prize money to fund the Dale City VFD Foundation. It will help pay for their annual holiday season initiative where Santa rides around town in a firetruck visiting terminally ill children and their families.

"He brings them a gift, sings Christmas carols with them. It's really fantastic."

Eddy's journey began thanks to a friendly competition between a neighboring firehouse, "We've done a few challenges back and forth. They challenged us to a chili contest and I came up with this recipe specifically for the contest and we were able to pull out the win!"

Eddy then went on to compete in the "America's Best Firehouse Chili Contest" at the New York City Fire Museum against four other finalist from around the country in a live chili cook-off.

Hormel Chili and The National Fallen Firefighter's Foundation partnered up for this contest to showcase the under appreciated cooking talents of firefighter's across the country

Hormel is also donating $20,000 to The National Fallen Firefighter's Foundation to support their efforts in honoring fallen firefighters and their families.

Eddy has had such a good run with his "Smoke Showin" chili recipe, he's ready to retire from competitions. "This chili is undefeated. It's been in 4 or 5 different contests at work and then the one Hormel sponsored."

"Smoke Showin" is a firefighting term given by the first responding engine to a fire scene. It means the firefighters can see smoke emanating from the building. In regards to Eddy's recipe, "Smoke Showin" refers to what Eddy calls "the smoky goodness" of spices in the chili.


If you know of a terminally ill child that needs a visit from Santa this holiday season, or if you want to start a similar initiative in your community email:

Click here for more information on the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department.

Below is Eddy's prize winning recipe.

“Smoke Showin” Chili


1 lb. Hormel Black Label Cherrywood Bacon

3 medium onions, diced

1 head garlic, pressed

2 lbs. ground beef

3 28oz. cans tomato sauce

3 40.5oz. cans light red kidney beans

2 1lb. 13oz cans black beans

2-3 lbs. smoked beef brisket (at least 6 hours, cherry wood)

1T dry mustard

1/3c chili powder

2T cumin

2T ground black pepper (more to taste)

1T seasoned salt (more to taste)

1 can tomato paste

1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed

3 ears smoked fresh corn (30 min)

Red onion, cilantro and sour cream (garnish)


Smoke brisket and corn the night before. Fry bacon, remove. Sauté garlic and onion in bacon fat, add ground beef and brown. Drain fat leaving just a few tablespoons. Add tomato sauce beans, brisket and bacon. Add spices, tomato puree, chipotle pepper puree, corn (cut from cob), and simmer for at least one hour. Garnish with chopped red onion, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.