For a couple of the ten chili chefs who competed for the Celebrities’ and People’s Choice Awards at this year’s Chili-On chili cook off, one chili was just not enough. Tom Kelly and Trish Gatley brought not one, but two delicious chili pots for all to enjoy. While the others, Candie McDevitt, Viki Lassiter, Lisa DiSabatino, Patrick Guiant, Craig Moya, Janet Brown, Mike Wilbanks, Brandt Boxleitner, and Dawn Standke brought equally competitive and creative steaming pots of spicy stews and fixin’s.
The “chili-on” component made every taste a full dinner inspiration with quesadillas, potato cakes, crispy handmade tortilla cups, creamy polenta, corn bread, Fritos+ and fresh picked garden vegetables, etc. being covered each by a different and delicious chili.
Choosing a winner was hard! All the entries were delicious. This year we added to the fun by inviting three celebrity judges. Who could be more credible to taste and judge our chilies than the radio traffic reporters who get our club members home with the least amount of aggravation? Traffic reporters Kelly Danek, Mark Zegan and Debbie Cruz awarded one of Trish Gatley’s two delicious pots of chili as their top choice.
Candie McDevitt with her smoky sweet chili on cornbread took first place in the COCSD members’ vote. Craig Moya thanked his grandmother for his second place winning recipe (authentic Spanish Mexican with pork on homemade quesadillas). Janet Brown’s Skirts on Fire chili served on potato cakes came in third, according to the members.
The People’s Choice awardees took home COCSD private-labeled aprons, each a new chili ladle and cash prizes. The Celebrities’ Choice awardee took home some cash and a nice new ladle to boot.
Please take a minute to thank these chefs the next time you see them. Each and every one of them went into their own pockets and took their own time to make sure every COCSD taster enjoyed a delicious dinner. Tasters’ $5 contribution made the club enough money to offset some of the prize expenses. And, for those of you who didn’t make chili and who brought beer or wine for all to share, thank you, too!!
And these little piggies went toot, toot, toot all the way home.
Article by Janet Brown. Photos by Dawn Standke.