101.3 The MIX Chili Cook-off, Beer and Wine Festival Results
The Ramona Bowl Amphitheater dates back to the 1920s. It is best known for the outdoor play “Ramona”, which is enacted annually. Chilihead Dean Harvey, who has recently relocated to Southern California from Massachusetts, shared with us that when he was in fifth grade he lived in the area and participated in the pageant! The venue also holds numerous other events during the year. On Saturday it hosted a chili cookoff and wine and beer festival with bands and food vendors. It was something of a challenge to develop the schedule for the chili cookoff. Of course, the organizers of the overall event wanted their attendees to enjoy chili tasting along with everything else that was going on. But the event did not open to the public until 4:00 pm, and the topography of the venue did not lend itself to having the cookoff after dark. After much negotiation a schedule was arranged that would fit with the cooking times and still allow most of the people to enjoy some People’s Choice chili.
Contestants loaded in at around 9:00 am under clear skies with a touch of humidity. The day promised to be pretty hot, which prevented some cooks from competing. As it turned out, there were nice breezes throughout the day, which kept things from being unbearably hot. Thunderheads were present in the distance, but nobody expected thunderstorms and drenching rain to hit at about 2:45, as the 10 chili verde contestants were preparing to turn in their judging cups at 3:00. But rain it did, with thunder and lightning all around us. A nearby lightning strike started a small brushfire, which was quickly extinguished. The storm subsided by the time the gates opened to the public, so no harm was done. We heard that nearby Yucaipa had measured three inches of rain in a very short time! The red chili cooks continued preparing their dishes for a 4:30 pm turn-in and began handing out their People’s Choice chili as the public arrived.
Will Watkins officiated as Chief Judge. All of us are very happy to have Will and Gail back in Southern California and actively participating in the cookoffs. Scorekeepers were Karen Ray, Donnie Gordon and Tish Crawford. Wranglers were Jim LaTendresse and Sachiko Brecke. The happy winners were:
Salsa has only 3 entries, so did not qualify for the WCCC. It was won by Dean Harvey.
3rd place Darlene Taylor
2nd place Charlie Blosfield
1st place Bob Dyer
People’s Choice Chili:
3rd place Charlie Villalpando
2nd place Dean Harvey
1st place Chuck Harber
Traditional Red Chili:
4th place Armando Sanchez
3rd place Tony Austin
2nd place Steve Taylor
1st place Pamela O’Sullivan, “Howlin’ Dog Chili” will be howlin’ at the World!
Submitted by Karen Ray