Think you're hot stuff? Chili cooks are needed for Chili Cook-Off

Entries are being accepted for the Chili Cook-Off to be held at the San Juan County Fairgrounds on Jan. 24, 2-6 p.m.

Entrants will offer their most delicious creations in vying for bragging rights to the best chili on the island, as well as a first prize of $200. The competition is open to individuals, groups, organizations and professionals. Families and chili fans will be able to sample all of the fare and cast their votes for their favorite concoction.

Unlike the formally-sanctioned chili competitions, this event will encourage a more island-like and casual approach to cooking, as the competitors will be expected to cook their chili at home and bring a large crockpot-full of spicy goodness to the fairgrounds where the contest will be held.

Trash-talking and outrageous decorating of each entrant’s table is strongly encouraged.

Entrants can arrive at 1 p.m. in time to set up and festoon their tables, and doors will be open to the hungry public at 2 p.m. A panel of judges drawn from each of the service clubs will sample each of the recipes and pronounce their verdict beginning at 4 p.m.

In addition to the first prize for the best chili, a second prize of $100 and a third prize of $50 will also be awarded. There will be a “Best Decorated Booth” award of $25, and a “People’s Choice” award of $25.

The competition is the collaborative idea of the presidents of the four San Juan Island service clubs: Julie Corey (Kiwanis), Dick Goff (Lions), John Kalbert (Rotary), and Debbi Staehlin (Soroptimists).

“We hope to make this an annual event,” Corey said. “There are so many good cooks on this island, and we just wanted to gather the community together for an afternoon of fun. This is the first time that all four of the service groups have gotten together to do anything like this.”

Admission to the event is free, as are the samples of the competition chili. In addition to the samples provided by the entrants, there will be big bowls of chili available for sale, as well as beer, soft drinks, desserts, (and all the condiments critical to the total enjoyment of chili) – each for $3 or less. There will also be musical entertainment by Steve Keys and Cecil DeMeerleer.

Entry forms and further information can be obtained by contacting Corey at 378-7895 or

There is a $25 entry fee for contestants.

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