DELAWARE, Ohio (Jan. 17) — Team JEGS chef Nicky Morse will lend his educated palate to the North Market’s fifth annual Fiery Foods Festival, which takes place Saturday, Feb. 16, at the famous 131-year-old Farmer’s Market in downtown Columbus. The decorated chef and star of the TV show “The Racing Chef” will judge the annual Customer Chili Cook-off beginning at noon.

“I’m excited to see what people come up with,” said Morse, who usually spends his time preparing meals for members of the JEGS Mail Order race team at various racetracks around the country. “The North Market offers so many different kinds of meats, fresh vegetables, peppers, and spices that the different varieties of chili someone could come up with are literally limitless.

“I’m going to grade them hard. For me, the meat has to be just right. It has to be the right size and consistency. The way the vegetables are cooked into the recipe is also very important. Of course, the taste is a big deal. You need some heat in there but you don’t want to overpower the flavor. I wish everyone the best of luck.”

Morse, who has done everything from work in the kitchens of four-star restaurants to tutoring students at Ohio State University to joining legend Wolfgang Puck in raising money for cancer research, says supporting the North Market is very important to him.

“Before the big rigs pull out for the next race, I always make sure the trailer is stocked with food I purchased at North Market,” said Morse, who has a rolling kitchen that would rival any restaurant’s setup. “It’s where I buy my food. I don’t want meat that’s pumped up with growth hormones like you get at the grocery store. I can go there and spend an hour tasting cheese. I get the most incredible ice cream there. If I showed up at a race without my usual groceries from the North Market, the crew guys might hurt me.”

The Customer Chili Cook-off requires participants to use at least three ingredients obtained from North Market vendors. In addition to the prestige of winning the event, the first-place points earner will receive $100 in North Market gift certificates. The runner-up gets $50 in gift certificates.

The free festival begins at 8 a.m. with cooking demonstrations scheduled throughout the day. In addition to the Customer Chili Cook-off, local chefs will battle it out in a Professional category. The Island Breeze Duo will provide Caribbean music in the afternoon and a Spicy Cooking for Singles class sponsored by Columbus Alive will take place from 2-4 p.m.

To participate in the Customer Chili Cook-off or the Chef Chili Challenge and for more information, call 614-463-9664 or visit A tasting fee of $5 enables onlookers to sample all of the chilis by both professional chefs and amateur contestants while supplies last.

Information regarding JEGS Mail Order can be found at and for media/fan resources check out

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Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800.345.4545 (3.412)
Mobile: 614.595.1820
Fax: 740.362.4385
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