Dinner Gild

Chili Masters Pop-Up to Benefit Arden Swim club

It’s Covid and We’re Still Cookin’

Due to COVID, we will miss the annual chili cook-off for the Arden Swim Gild. Still hankering for some good chili to ward off the cold of mid-winter? Never fear, the chili masters are here. Past chili cook-off champions and rivals Pat Toman and Jill Althouse-Wood with son Jonah Wood are cooking some of their prize-winning recipes and making them available by the pint ($9) or the quart ($16). Choose between three different chilis—or order some of each—to take home, heat-up, and garnish with suggested toppings (not included). Also available for purchase, a 4-pack of corn muffins ($3) and a special edition chili-chocolate bar from Double Spiral Chocolate ($4, 2/$7, or 3/$10). All orders must be placed by January 9th, for pickup on Saturday, January 16th from 5-6 PM.

Beef 2-Ways Chili – Pat won 1st place with this chili in the very first Chili Cook-Off in 2015. It’s a riff on traditional red chili with ground beef and tenderloin tips, three kinds of peppers, and red, white, and black beans (all used sparingly) rounded out with a blend of traditional and some unusual spices and other ingredients. The heat level is on the low to average side but you can always kick it up with the addition of a touch of ground cayenne or hot sauce before serving. Suggested toppings include a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped sweet or green onion, even chopped pickled jalapenos is great if that’s your thing.

Buffalo Chicken Chili—Jill and Jonah won first place for this chili in 2017, and Pat is still sore about it. He doesn’t think it is a true chili. But the votes don’t lie; it is delicious. Chunks of chicken, peppers, celery, onions, tomatoes, navy beans, hot sauce (How is this not chili?), and a touch of cream cheese.  (Okay, maybe this is the reason). Medium heat level. Suggested toppings include bleu cheese crumbles, shredded cheddar, chopped green onions.

Vegan Chili—Although Jill has won several first-place trophies at the Chili cook-off, she is actually most proud that her Vegan Chili got 3rd place in the standard contest at last year’s event. (Jonah, an avowed carnivore, refused to take part in cooking a Vegan chili.) None of your typical meat substitutes, here. Instead, Jill uses a unique blend of toasted walnuts and spices; sun-dried tomatoes; balsamic caramelized onions; and homemade, smoky, mushroom bacon to layer on the umami and texture in an unexpected way for vegan chili. Other ingredients include the usual cast of characters: spice, peppers, beans, tomatoes to round out the recipe. Medium heat level. Suggested toppings include cashew sour cream (easy to make at home. Jill will post a recipe on Ardenistas), and cubed avocado.

Special Edition Double Spiral Chili Chocolate Bar—Mhairi and Stuart Craig of Ardentown’s own Double Spiral Chocolate are creating a small batch of chili chocolate bars especially for this pop-up event. In 2017, Mhairi won the wildcard category for her vegetarian mole chili made with lots of Double Spiral Chocolate, proving that chocolate and chili are indeed a hot match.

To order your chili:

Send an email with the kind/size of chili you want ($9 pint/ $16 quart) as well as your order for any corn muffins ($3 for pack of 4) or chocolate ($4 for 1 bar, $7 for 2 bars, $10 for 3 bars) to ardenprom@gmail.com by Saturday, January 9. Place orders early as we are limiting each chili selection to 40 total quarts each. Pick up will be curbside at the Arden Gild Hall on Saturday, January 16th from 5-6PM. Please arrive at Gild Hall by way of Sherwood Road rounding onto The Highway to form a line in front of the Gild Hall. Prepay by check made out to Arden Swim Club sent to Keri del Tufo, 1704 Green Lane, or Venmo @Keri-Will-del Tufo If paying the day of pick-up, please have a check made out to the Arden Swim Club or exact change.


With the exception of occasional Special Events, the Dinner Gild normal activities have been temporarily suspended due to the health and safety concerns posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Please check back here for updates!

The Dinner Gild contributes to the strong sense of community among the residents of The Ardens, members of the Arden Club, and their guests, by providing opportunities to share wholesome, inexpensive meals in a neighborhood environment.  Bringing together our love of the arts, food, music, and most importantly, friendship.


Additional Information:

The Dinner Gild has several Facebook sites:

The Arden Dinner Gild

This is our current Facebook site with postings and photographs submitted by our Cooking Teams and Diners from September 2012 to just last week.

The Arden Dinner Gild Archive

This was our first Facebook site, with postings and photographs of our dinners from September 2009 to September 2012.

The Bored Gild

This site has a collection of the wonderful Chalkboard Art that David Yoder graces our dining room with each week.