World-class chili cooks and judges convened at Lost Lake Resort last weekend. The participants began arriving on Tuesday. Motorhomes and trailers continued arriving until about 2:00 am on Saturday morning (the day of the cookoff). This event is both old and unique. This was the 26th annual cookoff, held in the same exact venue as the 1st annual. We, as chairpersons, have attended every cookoff. Steve Porter has missed only one. If you appreciate the old-style cookoffs (think World’s Championship at Tropico Gold Mine), this cookoff is for you. You don’t have to have an RV to come here. Of the cooks and judges who participated, 13 camped, 8 “stayed over” in either Blythe or Parker, and 8 drove in for the day. Cooks came from Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada andTexas.
Friday everyone pitches in to get ready for the cookoff. The men prepare for the breakfast. Cooks this year were Bill Ray, Bob Dyer, Tim Green, Al Voiles, and Mike Austin; Jim Maehl supervised in between acting as site coordinator. The ladies cut fruit for the fruit cups, cut up tortillas for judging and made tasting kits. Volunteers this year were Karen Ray, Marty Leitner, Willma Maehl, Patricia Sanchez and Mimi Voiles.
Saturday kicks off with a down-home country breakfast of coffee, bacon, sausage, country hash-browns, scrambled eggs, biscuits-and-gravy with a fresh fruit cup (with or without champagne) hosted by Bill and Karen Ray. Armando Sanchez hosts your choice of beverages, alcoholic or not. After a brief cooks meeting conducted by Chief Judge, Jim Maehl, serious cooking got underway. For one reason and another, 11 people who usually cook here were absent this year. After some nervous moments about having enough participants for legal contests, there were plenty of cooks in each category. Scorekeeping was handled by Donnie Gordon, Louise Dinnewith and Allene Macklin.
Lost Lake Resort loves this event. Three years ago they added a car show, which has grown every year. Believe me, there were some really great cars! The horseshoe tournament is always popular and well-attended. People’s choice chili is optional at this cookoff, but nearly everyone brings some, and the public responds enthusiastically. You won’t take home any of your people’s choice chili! This year’s public was the best ever. People came from as far away as Lake Havasu. We sold almost $1,200 in tasting kits at $3.00 each. The winning cooks share 50% of the proceeds; the remainder goes to English Springer Rescue.
Contests, emceed by Steve Porter, are Little Miss Chili Pepper, Little Mister Hot Sauce, Miss Chili Pepper, Mr Hot Sauce, and Shoot-and-Holler (what else!). The reigning Shoot-and-Holler champion for the last two years is Jennifer Goodman nee Porter. After a very busy day the winners were:
People’s Choice Chili:
3rd Armando Sanchez
2nd Pamela O’Sullivan
1st Marion Donato
Salsa (12 entries):
3rd Nick Donato
2nd Steve Crawford
1st Pamela O’Sullivan
Chili Verde (11 entries):
3rd Armando Sanchez
2nd Tish Crawford
1st Mark Haught
Traditional Red Chili (21 entries):
4th Bob Dyer (the defending champion)
3rd Jim Stoddard
2nd Tish Crawford
1st Kathy Plager—-3rd in the World in 2012!
The day ends with a potluck dinner in the campground. Everyone brings their favorite dish—-Sheila’s broccoli salad, Bob’s seafood casserole, Mimi’s party potatoes, Mike’s meatballs, Armando’s tamales, Fred & Patty’s shrimp cocktail, everything is wonderful! Chili cooks CAN COOK!
We love this cookoff!—-can you tell? Try it, you’ll like it. First-time participants almost always come back.
As most of you know, Sylvia passed away this week. It was her wish that we have a Celebration of Life Party in her memory. Therefore, you are cordially invited to attend the party which will be taking place December 15th, 2012 at 12:00 noon. It will be held in Bell Canyon at 30 Hackamore Lane, Bell Canyon CA. 91307. If using a GPS You might have to enter West Hills.
Please RSVP to Lainie at (949)285-4891 or at Rosansky@cox.net to let us know if you will be able to attend. Your name must be on the list to gain entrance to this gated community.
A small but tough group of cooks came to support the District cookoff at Adams Motorsports Park today.
By small I mean that the Chili Verde contest was cancelled because there would only have been two entries. Traditional Red Chili would not have been a legal contest except that one local cook came prepared to cook then split his ingredients in half and gave half to another cook who had come expecting to cook Chili Verde only. The salsa contest stood on its own with ten entries.
By tough I mean that each of the ten red cooks has won in some category at a large cookoff, many of them at the WCCC level.
Chairperson, Timel Sebastian, is a respected businessperson in the City of Riverside. She puts together a well-organized event, which is supported by her community and by the City of Riverside and other local businesses. Since 1959 Adams Motorsports Park has been Southern California’s home for kart racing and is the longest continuously running kart facility in the world. Chief Judge and Scorekeeper, Dennis and Allene Macklin, traveled from Lake Havasu City, AZ to officiate at the event. Mike Austin, already qualified for the 2013 WCCC, acted as emcee.
One of the perks offered to the chili cooks is a special “Chili Cooks Race” at no charge to the participants. There were also special races offered to the public and a very nice car show. A DJ played a variety of music and vendors displayed handcrafted merchandise. A mild, beautiful Southern California day was enjoyed by all of the participants.
And the winners were:
People’s Choice Chili: Marian Donato
3rd Place, Steve Crawford
2nd Place, Mike “Ughlee”Austin
1st Place, Tish Crawford, the 2011 World’s Salsa Champion
Sylvia Steinberg passed away peacefully on Sunday after a seven-year battle with cancer. Regardless of her circumstances, Sylvia always had a smile and when asked about her health, she replied “I’m fine!” She was a tough lady.
A Celebration of Life will be announced in the next few days. We’ll post the details as soon as they are received. Sylvia will be missed.
Clark McGee (member of team On the Road Chili), of Chino Hills, CA, has found himself one of the seven finalists at the World’s Food Championship in Las Vegas. He will compete today at Caesar’s Palace against the other finalists, hoping to hear his name called as the overall winner! Congratulations, Clark, and good luck!!!