Pictured are: (Back) Tony & Jamie Luman, Kameron Barrier, Cheryl & Jerry Wilkerson, (Front) Daycy and Joshlynne Barrier.
Pictured are: (Back) Tony & Jamie Luman, Kameron Barrier, Cheryl & Jerry Wilkerson, (Front) Daycy and Joshlynne Barrier.
For many, the Neshoba County Wildlife Jamboree means an opportunity to sample a variety of signature stews but one dish stands out on its own — Cheryl Wilkerson’s father’s wild game chili.

Wilkerson, a committee member of the event at the coliseum set for next Tuesday, September 24, has helped her late-father cook large black pots of wild game chili for about 15 years. Her parents, Betty and John Elliot, cooked the mysterious brew every year for roughly 20 years.

“Everybody misses them,” Wilkerson said. “It's a family recipe carried through the generations. After my parents passed I took on the responsibility and now I do it with my daughter and her husband and my grandkids.”

The event does not start until 5 p.m. but members of her clan will start assembling at the coliseum as early as 8 a.m. to begin the cooking process.

The sous chefs include daughter Jamie Luman and her husband, Tony; and their kids Kameron, Joslynne and Daycy Barrier. Wilkerson is also joined by her husband, Jerry Wilkerson, the preacher at Harmony Primitive Baptist on Highway 486 and Erata Primitive Baptist Church in Laurel.

The family secret recipe involves deer and hamburger meat.

“I know they are looking down on us and saying ‘good job,'” Wilkerson said.

Cooking has always brought the family together. The family repertoire includes chicken and dumplings.

“It is my mom’s recipe,” she said. “I think my daughter makes it better than I can.”

Wilkerson also makes homemade butterfinger candy with a family recipe. She said cooking was a way she could connect to her mother while her memory was fading before she died.

“It was such a treasured moment,’ Wilkerson said. “I would get her to help me cut okra and she would say she didn’t know how but she would go to town once she got going.”

Wilkerson looks forward to carrying on the tradition of feeding close to 3,000 people with her family at the Neshoba County Wildlife Jamboree next Tuesday at the Coliseum.


butterfinger candy 

One bowl of candy corn about a 2 lb box. One jar of 16 oz peanut butter plain, one pack of chocolate almond bark. Melt candy corn in microwave for 3 minutes, take out, add full jar peanut butter, stir until all is blended. Roll out into small round balls and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Melt almond bark for about 3 minutes in microwave and dip balls in chocolate. Let dry and enjoy!!! Cheryl Wilkerson 

Bananas pudding with or without bananas 

One gallon banana pudding, one bowl of Cool whip, one can condense milk. Mix all together, add vanilla wafers, in the bottom in layers between pudding, also add bananas if you want them in it. Either way, it's good and simple. Put in refrigerator to chill.

Chicken and Dumplings


3 cups of self-rising flour

1 cup of Crisco

3 sticks of butter

4 boiled chicken breasts

Boil 5 cups of water and add 1 stick of butter and add chicken. Let boil until chicken is done then remove.

Mix flour, Crisco and 2 sticks of butter. Mix by hand until good consistency, then roll out and pinch off in the water.

let boil for 40 minutes on medium heat then add chicken after you shred it.