Sep. 18—ANDERSON — The name of his dish might have raised some eyebrows at the annual Community Chefs fundraiser Saturday, but Tom Dickey's bacon-wrapped armadillo eggs were an exercise in nostalgia for their creator.
Dickey, a real estate developer and a member of the Community Health Anderson board, smiled as he recalled how he discovered the recipe.
"I was introduced to (armadillo eggs) when I was on spring break many moons ago," Dickey said. "It's kind of like this nostalgic thing, and when they asked me what I wanted to make, I thought, I'll make the armadillo eggs."
Armadillo eggs, by the way, don't come from armadillos. They're generally made of jalapenos, cream cheese, sausage and bacon.
"You just go on Google and on YouTube and start looking for good recipes, and I found one (that) was smoked," he added. "I thought, this is a good excuse for me to go buy a smoker. We tried them last weekend and they were pretty good."
Dickey and his wife made about 75 eggs for the Community Chefs fundraiser, then cut each of them in half to make sure there would be enough for the hundreds of people who attended.
A total of 42 chefs donned aprons and shared their creations during the evening at the Anderson Country Club. It was the fundraiser's first in-person gathering since 2019.
"It was exciting for us, doing the prep work and getting it all set up and getting all the calls that we get from people wanting tickets," said Tom Bannon, vice president of community engagement and chief foundation officer at Community Hospital.
"The committee was together recently and we noted that it's been three years (since the event was in-person). There's a lot of excitement surrounding the event this year."
During remarks before introducing the chefs, Bannon noted that the fundraiser, known for channeling half its annual proceeds to Madison County schools, would surpass $800,000 in total proceeds raised since its inception in 2013.
"We are so excited that Community Hospital puts this event together and gives money back to school nurses, oncology, and this new scholarship that's going to go to nursing students at Anderson University," said another chef, Eric Davis, assistant superintendent at Anderson Community Schools.
Dickey said the opportunity to raise money that would remain in Madison County is meaningful to him. The Middletown native said his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all worked in General Motors factories in Anderson, so he feels a generational connection to serving the community.
"To me, it's a great way to give back in my local community where I grew up," he said. "It's just a different way to give back with your time, talent and treasure."
Follow Andy Knight on Twitter @Andrew_J_Knight, or call 765-640-4809.