14th Annual Chili Cook-Off: New Tastes, Veteran Winners

by Paula Detwiller

In case you missed it, here’s how big and bold our 14th Annual Chili Cook-Off was: 100 gallons of chili served, 5,000 sample-sized chili cups used, and approximately 500 ballots cast.

Several of our winners included chefs who rise to the top each year—such as Hank Lenga, who won his 19th, 20th and 21st Chili Cook-Off trophies—and 1st Vice Chair of the CRA Board, Peter Arts, whose winning recipe grabbed 1/3 of all the votes in his category.

Hearty congratulations to all of our winners!

Traditional Chili

  • “Le French Chili Connection” (Jean Lebrevelec) – 1st Place People’s Choice; 3rd Place Chef’s Choice
  • “Chuck Wagon Chili” (Hank Lenga) – 2nd Place People’s Choice; 1st Place Chef’s Choice
  • “Hot Chocolate Chili” (Joe Ferrell) – 2nd Place Chef’s Choice  
  • “Bubba’s Beef & Beans” (John Hackman) – 3rd Place People’s Choice

 New Age Chili

  • “The Other White Meat” (Peter Arts) – 1st Place Chef’s Choice & People’s Choice
  • “Moo & Oink” (Dave McBride) – 2nd Place Chef’s Choice & People’s Choice
  • “Caribbean Time” (Jacques Michele) – 3rd Place People’s Choice
  • “Pulled Pork Chipotle Chili” (Shari Solis) – 3rd Place Chef’s Choice

Vegetarian Chili

  • “Kitchen Sink” (Ben Wilson) – 1st Place People’s Choice, 2nd Place Chef’s Choice
  • “10 Vegetable Chili” (Hank Lenga) – 2nd Place People’s Choice; 1st Place Chef’s Choice

*Postscript: If we had a category for Most Guilty Pleasures in One Bowl, the prize would surely have gone to Nancy Simons and daughter Sally Poe Hackman for their “Lucky Cowboy Chili.” It was flavored with coffee, chocolate and beer!

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