Cook-off adds spice to fundraiser

Lyn Reynolds serves up a cup of chili at last year’s Rotary cook-off. - File photo
Lyn Reynolds serves up a cup of chili at last year’s Rotary cook-off.
— image credit: File photo

Lovers of chili should be sure to bring a big appetite to the fourth annual Millennium Rotary Club of White Rock Chili Cook-off Sept. 8.

According to the club’s members, contestants are already testing their recipes to come up with the perfect combination for the competition.

“The chilis that are prepared are probably better than you would get at a lot of places,” said Rotary president Scott Phemister. “Everyone is putting their best food forward, adding that extra effort and searching for that special ingredient.”

Each contestant pays $50 for an entry fee and must make five gallons of chili for tasting by the public and judges to be eligible for the people’s award, the judges’ award or the Rotary Revel award for the team with the most enthusiasm.

“It’s something different in order to raise money to support local initiatives,” Phemister said.

“It helps to support Rotary in the community.”

The bulk of the contestants are local restaurants or teams comprising community groups and restaurants, as the chili is required to be made in a kitchen adhering to food safety regulations, Phemister said.

“We’ve got groups coming together to create the chili, so they usually have one restaurant on board. It’s a way to get out and meet the people who serve up some of the local food,” he said.

And for those who choose to taste rather than compete, a tasting kit – consisting of a tasting card, bread samples and award ballot – is available for $5. The fee includes a cup of each contestant’s chili, Phemister said.

“It’s a double whammy. You get to have a great lunch and you get to help out the community,” he said.

The competition will be set up on the south side of Russel Avenue, right by the Whaling Wall, Sept. 8, during the Uptown Street Festival.

Contestants will begin serving up chili to the public by 11:30 a.m.

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