UPDATE: This post has been changed since originally published. Jeff Ma is the winner, Will Lemke was one of the third place contestants, and I had the wrong name for the spice in Jeff’s chili.
A hungry and enthusiastic crowd of chili lovers descended on the Eastlake Zoo Saturday afternoon for the tavern’s 32nd Annual Chili Cookoff.
Proceeds from the cookoff benefit Northwest Harvest. The Zoo’s Howard Brown says they raised $535 for the food bank.
Howard didn’t have names at hand for the winners but he did have the winning entrant numbers. If you were a winner, let me know and I’ll update the post with your name:
- First place ($100 and a trophy) went to entrant #7, Jeff Ma, the chili with the Asian influence.
- Second place was #21 (ribbon and 12 free games at the Zoo).
- Third place (three hours of shuffleboard and three hours of snooker) was a tie between #4, #8 and #17 (Will Lemke was one of the third-place winners).
A long and tasty line of chili was waiting at the back of the Zoo. Some of the entrants had been competing for years but others, like Patty Loving, were entering for the first time. Her chili recipe? Elk sausage, red wine and bison.
Lots of people were talking about Jeff Ma’s chili (I think he was entrant #7) for its Asian-influenced taste. Ma said his secret ingredients included chili paste, soy sauce and Five Spice Powder. And, he made his own flatbread to go with the chili.
Betsy Costello, who entered the “Phactoria Phloozie Chili,” said that presentation was important. She had decorated her entry pot with sparkly garland and a sign. And, yes, she comes all the way from Factoria for the event.
Eastlake resident and businessperson Will Lemke (Propadata Films) was on the phone trying to find a crockpot to keep his chili warm. His secret: chorizo, bacon and beef. He’d been cooking for a day.
The competition was fun, spirited and friendly. As Besty Costello said, “It’s all for a good cause!”