Dozens gathered at St. John's Lutheran Church in Kimball Saturday night, Jan. 16, ready to eat chili.
Fourteen groups brought gallons of potentially prize-winning chili for all to taste (and judge). Hundreds of small bowls of chili were dished up and consumed, along with cornbread muffins.
Everyone in attendance had a chance to judge both the chili and the decorated, themed booths. A panel of four judges (Jim Frilstad, Joe Krippner, Jody Markgraf, and Chris Wolf from 98 Country radio) spent hours sampling and discussing each chili entry before reaching their decisions. Those who came to taste were given scorecards on which they made their choices.
In the "traditional" category (beef, tomatoes, beans), Main Street Café in Litchfield won first place, Triple R took second, and Watkins Ambulance took third.
Among the four "non-traditional" entries, Dollars for Scholars took first place (see recipe on page 10), Chickadee Tree took second, and Diva's took third.
The peoples' choice winner was Main Street Café.
Diva's won the prize for best booth with their "hot pink chili." The booth winner was decided by popular ballots and by judge Jean Matua from the Tri-County News.
The event was sponsored by the Kimball Community Playhouse to help raise money for its various productions throughout the year. Steel Magnolias is coming up for dinner theater in March, and The Wizard of Oz for six shows in July. Watch for details on these productions, and the next chili cook-off, here in the Tri-County News.