Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Chili cook-off to honor young chef who passed away, raise funds for central PA students

Alex Smith (center) and his family

In an upcoming event, contestants will face off in a spicy challenge for a sweet cause.

The Alex W. Smith Foundation will host “Alex’s Chili Cook-Off For A Cause” to carry on a young local chef’s legacy and to raise scholarship money for central Pennsylvania students.

Twenty-two-year-old Alex Smith tragically passed away in 2018. His family has since started a foundation in his name to honor the memory of their son.

They believe the chili cook-off is one way to do that.

“He had dreams of opening his own restaurant to share his love of good eats with others, so we created the chili cook-off,” said Terri Smith, Alex’s mom, in a statement.

Before passing, Alex attended HACC’s culinary program and worked as a chef apprentice at Greystone Public House on Colonial Road in Harrisburg.

To honor his love of food, local restaurants and amateur chefs will cook up their best chili and attendees have the opportunity to sample it.

Professional chefs from Greystone Public House, Devon Seafood & Steak, Houlihan’s Restaurant & Bar and Penn Hotel Sports & Raw Bar, among others will participate.

The event will also include raffles, door prizes, live music and a cash bar.

All proceeds from the chili cook-off event will go towards the foundation’s effort to support central PA students through scholarships.

Mid Penn Bank is a sponsor for the event.

This is the second year that the foundation will hold the cook-off. In November 2019, over 300 people attended and they raised over $5,000.

“Keeping Alex’s memory alive is what keeps us motivated,” Smith said. “We are grateful that even in death, his legacy of bringing people together with food is thriving and helping the futures of other students.”

“Alex’s Chili Cook-Off For A Cause” will be held on Oct. 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Greystone Public House, 2120 Colonial Road, Harrisburg. For more information on the Alex W. Smith Foundation, visit their website.

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