Andre Rodriguez serves Matthew Musgrove some of his spicy homemade chili. There were 17 contestants at this year’s event. (Johnson Publications photo)

This year’s People’s Choice, far left, was the Imperial Manor Parkview Heights entry. Pictured, from left, are Chris Lee, third place winner; Leann Weiss and daughter Alyssa Weiss, who placed first; and Rex Messersmith, who received second. Messersmith also provided the water for the event. (Johnson Publications photo)

Chili Cook-off a ‘hot’ hit

    The sixth annual Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-off was a hot event to be at last Thursday.
    With the biggest turnout in the last six years, there was a wide variety of chili to taste. There were 17 contestants that registered for the competition making the jobs of the five judges, John Miller, Justin Owings, Jake Francis, Eric Exum and Jody Fenwick, a little harder.
    Not only did this year have the most contestants, there was also an all time high in attendance numbers. There were around 70 to 80 community members who showed up.
    “Some people weren’t quite sure how it worked, but that’s a good sign. It showed that there were newcomers,” said Jack Schnieder, coordinator of the cook off.
    As more and more people trickled in the louder it got in the gym. There were tables and chairs set up throughout the gym for people to sit and enjoy their chili. After trying all, or as many as one could, attendees were asked to cast their vote for People’s Choice.
    “It’s interesting, the People’s Choice winner has never been one the judges choose,” said Schnieder.
    First place went to Leann Weiss whose daughter, Alyssa, helped show off their display and serve food. Rex Messersmith received second place and Chris Lee, third. People’s Choice went to the Imperial Manor Parkview Heights entry.
    With the competition continuing to grow each year, Schnieder is positive the cook-off will continue to be a yearly event.

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