AZ COPPERSTATE AND VALLEY OF THE SUN B2B REGIONALS - MARCH 8TH & MARCH 9TH, 2014
Two great cookoffs were once again held in the ball fields of the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center in Ahwatukee, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix) on March 8th and 9th, 2014. The weather was beautiful both days and sunny with highs in the lower 80’s. Cooks came from 6 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada and Texas) to cook their hearts out to qualify in 6 events for the World’s Championships. Cooks gave out lots of People’s Choice chili to the large crowds both days. Over $1000 each day was raised for their charities: Ahwatukee Youth Programs of the Center and the Little League. With a carnival going on next to the cookoff both days, and a Farmers Market on Sunday, the cooks had two very busy days.
With enough cooks, we had 2 tables in Red and Verde on Saturday, and 2 tables in Red on Sunday. These cookoffs will be Regional status again next year.
Our chairperson, Susan Hyden, the Director of the Community Center, along with her “crew”, did a fantastic job of organizing and putting on this event. I asked for judges both days, and boy, did I have a supply of mostly experienced judges that came back and judged both days. Thank you to the scorekeepers and wranglers each day that kept the judging area running smoothly: AJ Walton, Ryland Townsend, Dianne Gatschet, Greg and Lynn Virant, Ginny Kost, and of course, my wonderful wife, Kathy Plager as Chief Scorekeeper, who kept everything running accurately and on time in the judging area.
For some reason, most of the cooks enjoy giving me a hard time, as the two-time Back to Back World’s Red Champion. Believe me, I sometimes dish it out, so I guess I handle it pretty well, even though I wasn’t feeling too great on Sunday. Thank you everybody, for making me feel pretty special.
The cooks and the judges enjoyed all the Sunsweet prunes I displayed and gave away during the weekend. The diced Sunsweet Plum Amazins, the individually wrapped prune ”Ones”, and or course the new Chocolate covered Plum Sweets, were a big hit again. Lots of samples were given out, as well as copies of my chili recipe (which Sunsweet printed), even to the cooks. Do you use prunes?? All I can say is, they work for some cooks!!!
Now, on to the winners:
AZ Copperstate Regional (Saturday)
Rick Decker - CA
Salsa - 12 entries
3rd Place - Karen Cullum - TX
2nd Place - Tom Tutrone - AZ
1st Place - Pam Wright - AZ
Chili Verde - 22 entries
3rd Place - Dave Wright - AZ
2nd Place - Mike Ford - CA
1st Place - Wes Carlson - IL
Red Chili - 27 entries
4th Place - Skip Cooley - NV
3rd Place - Armando Sanchez - CA
2nd Place - Rick Decker - CA
1st Place - Pam Wright - AZ
AZ Valley of the Sun Regional (Sunday)
HM - Leeroy Watson - AZ
1st Place - Wes Carlson - IL
Salsa - 12 entries
HM - 4th Place - Bonnie Bootz - AZ
3rd Place - Tom Tutrone - AZ
2nd Place - Susan Hyden - AZ
1st Place - Dave Wright - AZ
Chili Verde - 19 entries
HM - 4th Place - Leeroy Watson - AZ
3rd Place - George Lott - CO
2nd Place - Armando Sanchez - CA
1st Place - Dave Wright - AZ
Red Chili - 24 entries
HM - 4th Place - George Lott - CO
3rd Place - Ron Burt - CA
2nd Place - Dave Wright - AZ
1st Place - Mike Fenley - AZ (1st time qualifying for World’s)
2012 & 2013 ICS World’s Red Chili Champion
March 8 Homestyle Chili Cookoff, Duck Race and 5K Walk in Bullhead City
As usual, Bullhead City did not fail us and provided wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour throughout the day. The temperature was very comfortable in the low 80’s and most of the cooks did not put up their canopies. Karen Morris and her staff did a fantastic job coordinating the cook-off, duck race and 5K walk. It was a lot of work and they should be commended on how smooth everything went. All three events were held as fundraisers for We Care Cancer Support.
Dennis and I were going to be the Chief Judge and Scorekeeper (in that order), but Karen was desperate for cooks to meet the minimum of 10 to qualify for 2014 WCCC, so we bowed out and entered the contest. Steve Wolff graciously jumped to the plate as Chief Judge and did an outstanding job and was assisted by Fred Eck. Thanks so much Steve, it was truly appreciated by all. I gave a quick scorekeeping lesson to Karen and a couple of her staff and they did a great job as well. They just needed a little help from me a couple of times.
Now for the winners:
Steve Barnes from the Hideout in Laughlin
3rd – Marcia Wohler from Lake Havasu
2nd – Allene Macklin from Lake Havasu (honest, it was all legal!)
1st – Mark Haught from Pahrump – qualifies for 2014 WCCC Home-style
Thanks again to everyone for making this a fun day, except for the ever-present wind (our canopy broke but we will rebuild!)
Dennis and Allene Macklin
BACK TO BACK COOKOFFS IN FLORIDA - APRIL 5, 2014
No, it is not a typo in the Subject line; Chili Chicks Regional #1 and Chili Chicks Regional #2 are both scheduled for Saturday April 5th at Lake Park, Florida. These two cookoffs will represent the tail-end of the South Florida “qualifiers” for the 2014 Chili Year - unless Nicky’s Regional Cookoff in Pembroke Pines re-emerges – so consider this a “call for action” to sign-up and support the event;
These cookoffs are replacing the two day back-to-back Acreage Music Festival ones of the past half-decade+, which have ranked among the most fun and cook friendly cookoffs anywhere; something I fully believe will carry over at the new venue. But two cookoffs on the same day???
When Chairman Robert Trepp first broached the idea, my response was along the lines of: “in all the years I’ve been involved in ICS (both sides of the stove), I’ve never been part of such a thing; as I matter of fact, I don’t ever remember hearing about one”. “However, I don’t see anything in the rules that says you can’t do it; the question is what do the cooks think of the idea…and would they support it?”
At the new (for this year), and gorgeous back-to-back “Smokin on the Bay” cookoffs in December which opened the “South Florida 2014 Chili Year” (both upgraded to Regionals), Robert and the Chili Chicks were there. Also were most of the “usual suspects” there cooking; so it seemed an ideal time to discuss the previous.
When the idea of back-to-back cookoffs on the same day was presented, the initial reaction from the cooks was: “say what… (???)” Then about three nanoseconds later, it was followed by: “why not; makes sense; we’re already set up; do the first one and announce the winners, then do the second one; two shots at the WCCC plus head home; I like it.”
Well; ask and you shall receive…so here it is. Now the ball is in your court to make it happen by participating, which I’m sure you will.
I spoke with Robert a couple of days ago, and he is working on the details of the Cooks’ Party and the Headquarters Hotel. As soon as those are firmed up, the information will be disseminated both by email, as well as on the ICS website plus Dick’s Chili World.
We are also working on the firming up of a schedule.
I have personally never been to Kelsey Park in Lake Park; but I’ve heard it is right on the Intracoastal Waterway and quite beautiful. I did look it up on Google Earth, and the satellite view sure seems to support the fact that it’s indeed very pretty.
Well that does it. Other than thinking back that not that long ago, we had a scarcity of WCCC Qualifiers in South Florida (like zero)…and this year by my count we’ve already had six, with the two Chili Chicks Regionals making eight.
That doesn’t happen without some great cooks and their support; so this is yet “another opportunity to excel” by not only sending two more champions to the World in all three categories with having 10 cooks in each, but as important getting us to 20 Reds in both cookoffs so as to keep two qualifier cookoffs from the get-go for 2015. No doubt we’ll get there…and looking forward to seeing everyone,
DESERT RAT REGIONAL - MARCH 29, 2014
Spring is definitely in the air - the birds are preparing to nest and the desert tortoise once again is emerging from its winter sleep. And the veterans at the California City American Legion are starting to prepare for another great chili cookoff. The veteran leading the charge is none other than Him in Charge, Phil Morosky a.k.a. Dirty Ole Phil. Phil is now sporting a new look. When he looks in the mirror, Phil sees Si Robertson from the hit show Duck Dynasty, duck call included! When Phil a.k.a. Si is not looking in the mirror he is busy scurrying about California City preparing for this year’s Desert Rat Regional Chili Cookoff. There will once again be lots of room for RVs to camp on clean dirt. And those cooks who arrive by car or pickup truck will be able to cook next to or behind their vehicle. People’s choice chili will be optional but we encourage you to participate as there is $100 prize money for People’s choice.
The American Legion will once again be putting on a free breakfast for Chili Cooks and Judges (The first 50 to show up). They will also be providing a Saturday evening chicken dinner for a small donation ($8), and it is usually quite substantial with all the trimmings and dessert. There is nothing like a good dessert in the desert! Once again Him in Charge has arranged for good prize money. Both Red Chili & Green Chili are the same amount. $500 First Place $300 Second Place and $100 Third-Place. For Salsa $100 to the winner. When Mike (Uglee) Austin is not searching the desert for tortoises he will be Emcee for the day. Unfortunately, Mike will not have his dog and pony show this year as the pony has a severe case of hay belly and the dog refuses to perform without the pony. Randy will be the disc jockey playing your favorite tunes. There will also be raffles, Miss Chili Pepper, Mr. Hot Sauce and Shoot and Holler. The Legion will also be serving hot dogs and hamburgers and cold beer all afternoon for a small donation.
DUTCH OVEN STEW CHALLENGE
Dirty Ole Phil said “ I have been requested, again & again, to have a Bragging Rights Dutch Oven (the heavy black iron pot) Stew Challenge”. And so the Stew Challenge will take place on Friday 28th of March 2014 before the Desert Rat Regional Chili Cookoff. The rules will be very simple - must be cooked in a cast iron pot using charcoal or campfire. NO PROPANE STOVES. And ready for judging at 1800 ( 6 PM to you non-military and non-European types) Friday afternoon. Judges will be picked on the spot or before. Tabulation of the scores will be done by a qualified scorekeeper, that would be Donnie Gordon. The stew will be judged on taste (but looks can‘t hurt). Please let us know by e-mail by 26th of March if you plan to compete. A minimum of five cooks are needed! A $15 entry fee will be required for expenses and bribes, with remaining monies returned as prize money. DISCLAIMER: this challenge has no connection to any other organization or any other set of rules. These rules can be changed to suit the mood of the Head Scorekeeper or the Supreme Judge of Stewdom.
Big Cheeses for the day.
Him in Charge: Dirty Ole Phil
Head Scorekeeper of Stewdom & Chief Scorekeeper: Donnie Gordon
Supreme Judge of Stewdom & Chief Judge: Capt. Jim Maehl
Emcee The Incomparable: Mike (Ughlee) Austin
- By CJM
WHEELING FEELING COOKOFF - JUNE 7, 2014
SILVER STATE REGIONAL RESULTS
Capt Jim and I went to Pahrump Thursday to do a 4 hour radio interview. Thank you Carol Hancock, Bob Plager, Norm Gaul and Kim LaTendresse for calling in. We had fun… I guess most of Pahrump listens to KNYE, we had fun and were told that it is now an annual thing for Thursday before the cookoff. As expected the rain came down heavy Friday, stopping during the night. But not before we all got drenched getting to the motorhome from the “Range Dinner. Fortunately there weren’t even mud puddles Saturday morning. It was beautiful out all day (and Jim and I had been sweating having many more than 10 cooks due to the forecast… Fooled us!)
Capt Jim did his usual great job as Chief Judge assisted in the judging area by Norm Gaul, Pete Caimi and Phil Morosky who also wandered around the area in his Duck Dynasty gear for the crowds. Scoring were Donnie Gordon, Bobbie Gaul and Nicole Caimi. When Nic was feeling a little week she and Pete went back to Vegas and we grabbed Ken Hook (only turned in Salsa) and John Piri to help fill in as scorekeepers. Thank you all for a wonderful job! And the winners are:
Salsa (10 Contestants):
3rd Place - Mark Haught, NV
2nd Place - Gene Beller, CA
1st Place - Steve Taylor, CA
Verde (12 Contestants):
3rd Place - Paul Whitney, AZ
2nd Place - Clark McGee, CA
1st Place - Jim Beaty, CA
Red Chili (22 Contestants):
Tied for 4th - Bob White, NV & Mike Stewart, CA
3rd Place - Jim Beaty, CA
2nd Place - Tish Crawford, CA
1st Place - Marty Leitner, NV
Ron Frasier announced that the date for next year was March 7 (1st Sat in March seems to be the standard). Congratulations to the winners and Thank you to all the cooks and volunteers. What a wonderful family we have! See ya in California City “Last Saturday in March”.
Just a quick note to report on the Gulf Coast Regional Cookoff yesterday. We had a decent turnout with a few no shows that dropped our competitor list to 36 chilis. One of the lightest turnouts we’ve had in a while.
Paul Nunn and his family were here for their 21st straight showing. Of course you know Paul won last year and placed 2nd at the 2013 WCCC! Unfortunately, (at the last minute) Paul was not able to compete so Saturday morning, his 2nd son Jeff filled out a membership form and took over his dad’s spot.
As the judges were leaving the finals table, they all commented about how difficult the judging had been because all of the chilis were exceptionally good. There was a tie between 3rd and 4th which lead to a tie between 4th and 5th. When the scores were tallied, and rechecked twice and then again, the results were quite shocking- the Nunn’s swept the competition! Tim Nunn got first, Jeff Nunn got second, and Tim’s daughter Alyssa Jones came in third. The odds are astronomical, but it happened. Naturally, the other cooks were skeptical, but everyone got the opportunity to taste the chilis afterwards and they were different. I know Paul was sick to have missed the cookoff, but his family filled those shoes and made up for his absence in a big way!
Forth place went to J.G. Carver with the Spice boys who also won 1st place in Salsa.
Wanda Ganswich (with 3 Sheets to the Wind) won 5th place which ironically completes her straight of trophys having won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and now 5th at our cookoff. I think she was just as happy to get that 5th trophy as she would have been had it been 1st.
Overall, crowd turnout was light, too, despite perfect weather. The gate receipts indicated around 3,500 entries. Still, the preliminary figure is around $70,000 raised just yesterday for the VFD which makes it a huge success!
The pics are of the Nunn family sending Paul a message on the backs of their awards checks and another which includes their neighbor JG Carver with his First Place Salsa.
LAKE HAVASU CHILI COOKOFF AND BOAT SHOW - APRIL 12, 2014
We have been diligently working on this upcoming cookoff and are looking forward to it being a total success. We and the Athletic Boosters Club continue to pursue additional funding in an attempt to increase the People’s Choice prize money. We believe this will be possible and anticipate raising it to at least 1st-$250; 2nd-$100 if not more……stay tuned for confirmation!!!
We have plenty of space for an abundance of cooks, so please sign up thru the ICS website. You can arrive and set up on Friday afternoon if you prefer, as there is 24 hour security. Dennis will be there after 1:00 pm to assist you, and you will be able to park your vehicle within the cookoff site on Saturday. The boat show draws nearly 8,000 spectators and we are just a few steps away, so we expect a large crowd of hungry chili tasters. For lodging and RV accommodations, please visit www.golakehavasu.com for complete information.
The promoter of the boat show has once again asked us to serve chili to the boat show vendors, VIP’s, cook-off judges, cooks, VIP’s, etc. Saturday evening following the cookoff, which includes free beer!!! This will take place at the cookoff site between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and if you want to stay in the area, there are BBQ’s available for your use until around 10:00 pm.
We look forward to seeing you in beautiful Lake Havasu in April. The weather will be incredible and there are many things to see and do in our wonderful city.
For additional information, please contact Dennis and Allene Macklin, Firefrog70@gmail.com - 928-566-1336
The New England Regional Chili Cook Off is very proud to announce we will awarding over $5,000 in prize money.
Red Chili first prize is $2,000!
Green Chili first prize is $750!
Salsa first prize is $250!
People’s Choice first prize is $350!
Sign up today….ya can’t win if you don’t cook!
For more burning info please contact Michael Freedman @ firstname.lastname@example.org
SILVER STATE CHILI COOKOFF RADIO SHOW - FEBRUARY 27, 2014
Donnie Gordon and Capt. Jim Maehl will be going live on the radio in Pahrump, Nevada on KNYE radio February 27, 2014. They will be talking about the upcoming chili cookoff in Pahrump, Nevada on Saturday, March 1. They will also be giving the listening public an insight to the chili cookoff world. They anticipate having call-in guests - our current World’s Champion Bob Plager and also CEO of the ICS Carol Hancock. The show will be airing between 1 PM & 4 PM PST (Pacific Standard Time). If you would like to listen in and have a computer or smart phone, it will be streaming live on KNYE.com. If you would like to call in you can do so at 775-537-6100. Your questions or stories about chili cookoff’s will be welcome.
CCJ CLASS TO BE HELD ON MARCH 28, 2014 IN BATON ROUGE, LA
In 2011, the International Chili Society introduced the Certified Chili Judges program which was designed to bring consistency and knowledge to chili judges, particularly newer ones. A Certified Chili Judges class will be held on Friday, March 28, 2014 at 5pm at Nelson Hall (behind Parker Coliseum) on the LSU Campus, Baton Rouge, LA. The class will taught by Wes Carlson, the 2004 Verde World Champion!
The class is NOT mandatory and certification is NOT required to judge at ICS cook-offs. These classes are for seasoned judges and new ones alike. Chili Cooks may also be interested in attending to learn more on what the judges are being taught. After winning a cook-off, you may want to help judge as well. One new Certified Chili Judge wrote: “Definitely worth it! I took the class at the WCCC in Manchester, NH and now I am “proudly” a Certified Chili Judge. Even though I’ve been judging chili for about five years, I still learned new things in the class!”
Class fee: $45 for current ICS members
$45 + $20 ICS Judges Only Membership
$45 + $50 ICS Regular Cooking Membership
Class size will be not be limited in size so come on over! Payment will be the day of class. Cash or Check only.
A few chili credentials for Wes Carlson:
- 2004 Chili Verde World Champion
- 2005 3rd Place Red @ World
- Cooked in all 50 States
- Cooked at World 14 times
- Cooking Since 1983
- Ran and Organized Northern Illinois CCO, 6 years
- Have been Chief Judge at many CCOs
- Have judged either Red or Verde in 39 States
- Have been Chief Judge in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Vermont, Missouri, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii (Verde), Connecticut and Maine
Any questions and to RSVP, please contact Wes Carlson – email@example.com or
Jason Blevins - firstname.lastname@example.org
After the class plan on attending the Pre- Cook off Party: Featuring a Cajun food buffet & Drinks (cooks, helpers, judges and anyone involved with cook off welcome to attend) held at Nelson Hall.
SILVER STATE REGIONAL CHILI COOKOFF,PAHRUMP, NEVADA - MARCH 1, 2014
Petrack Park will once again be the scene for the Silver State Regional Chili Cookoff. Just like last yea,r we will once again be able to accommodate RVs in the park. It will be dry camping except they will be able to provide electricity. The park has numerous RV power pedestals. If you are planning to bring your RV please let me know. There is going to be a pulled pork dinner Friday night for a donation of eight dollars. Master Chef Bill from the Nugget Hotel and Casino in Pahrump will be handling the Friday night dinner and all the trimmings. Can’t beat that deal anywhere! Arrangements have been made to bring in entertainers from Las Vegas, I’m talking professionals. They will be performing throughout the day. Plus there will also be local entertainment as well. And if having your picture taken with Sy from the hit show Duck Dynasty is on your bucket list here’s your chance. One of our own ICS members is a Sy look-alike. Better known as Dirty Ole Phil. Along with the chili cookoff in the park they are going to have a car show. And I’m always amazed at how many vintage cars are in this area. If you are a car person there will be lots of eye candy. Plus it’s fun to talk to the owners of the various cars. Our current back-to-back World’s Champion Bob Plager will be there with a new supply of prunes and his support for the cookoff. Also our current World’s Champion in the Homestyle Division, Al Henry, who will be competing in red chili. They are coming all the way from Colorado just to participate.
El Pato will be there with samples of their product for the cooks. I know a lot of you cooks use their product in your recipe.
Saturday night there is going to be a show put on for charity. Some of the acts will perform during the day Saturday at the cookoff. I have included the information about the show. This will definitely be different from the normal cookoff. With this type of entertainment throughout the day it will probably bring large crowds. It should be an interesting and fun filled day.
The Silver State All-Star Revue
At Nevada Treasure RV Resort Convention Center
301 W Leslie St . Pahrump, NV
Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 7 pm to 10 pm
Bob and Patti & Co are producing the ultimate variety show as a fundraiser co-sponsored by The Pahrump Nugget, Nevada Treasures and RV Superstore.
A limited number of tickets will be available in three price tiers ($50, $35 and $20) determined by proximity to the stage. Seating will be reserved by table in Las Vegas style seating with light appetizers at the table. There will be a no-host bar.
Doors open at 7:00, the show begins at 7:30 with music for dancing after the show from 9:00 to 10:00
Headlining in the Silver State All-Star Revue
Chris Pendleton - One of the most original comedy acts working today, Chris Pendleton draws her razor-sharp material from a unique perspective and a diverse background.
Dave Hoover as Elvis - From the age of six, he emulated the greatest entertainer of all time - his favorite singer, Elvis.
Jerry Halliday - Comedian Puppeteer Jerry Halliday is a big-time talent with a first class act. Halliday performs in comedy clubs, theatres, luxury cruise ships, and at such major casinos as the Rio, the Riviera, Bally’s and Harrah’s in Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City.
Dangerous Curves is one of Las Vegas’ most critically acclaimed female trios. Lisa Smith (soprano); Margaret Menzies (mezzo); and Karen Michaels (alto), are known for their spectacular blend of powerhouse vocals and delicious harmonies and an eclectic mix of Broadway, jazz, contemporary pop, rock, and even country.
Murray SawChuck - Direct from his nightly show at the New Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas! Internationally acclaimed award winning magician Murray SawChuck who dazzled the judges and 22 million people as a finalist on “America’s Got Talent”.
Hope to see y’all there, Capt. Jim