White Rock Rotary members of the O’Chillians (from left to right) Bert Coates

White Rock Rotary members of the O’Chillians (from left to right) Bert Coates

O’Chillians take home title

Rotary's battle of best chili won by reigning champs

Six teams battled it out for the title of best chili last week at the fourth annual chili cook-off hosted by the The Rotary Club of White Rock Millennium.

Despite pressure from some fresh faces – including Sabatinos, Jan’s on the Beach and Memphis Blues Barbecue House – the White Rock Rotary took the title again with help from their teammates at Jimmy Flynn’s Celtic Snug.

Members of the public and the Rotary dug into the chili – along with buns donated by Cobb’s Bread in South Point and coffee donated by Tribeca Starbucks – and marked their favourite team on the ballots.

Keeping a low-profile during the event were three secret judges selected by Rotary to help determine the best batch.

“Two – Ray Lavoie and Tracy Harris – were just regular citizens, but the third judge was Yung Hsi, a professional, certified chili judge with 20-plus years of experience,” said Rotary sergeant-at-arms Patrick Hahn. “This chap sought us out to offer his services and in so many respects opened our eyes to the wide world of professional chili.”

After all the chili had been tasted Saturday, Jan’s on the Beach was given the Judge’s Award, while Jimmy Flynn’s O’Chillians took home the People’s Choice Award and the Rotary Spirit Award for the second year in the row.

“It was a really nice, tasty chili Jimmy Flynn’s had. It had a delicate dob of sour cream or it may have been some very light cream cheese on top,” Hahn said.

A special second Rotary Spirit Award went to the Meat the Heat team, comprising Clancy’s Meat and the RCMP, as a way to thank the Mounties for their ongoing support of the event.

Altogether, 227 tasters came out to try the chilis, bringing in $1,350 which the Rotary will put towards a community project, Hahn said.