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Chamber hoping to bring back ‘chili cook-off’

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With autumn’s chill already in the air, the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce wants to put a little spice into local residents’ lives and heat things up with a chili cook-off next month.

Chamber manager Dawn Booth said this morning that provincial food preparation guidelines have changed since the last chili cook-off was held here in 2006, and whether or not it happens depends on if chili chefs are interested.

“Because there’s some new regulations with cooking the chili, we’re going to be contacting all previous teams that participated so to see if, with the new regulations, they’ll be willing to participate,” said Booth.

“If we don’t have the participation from the teams, then, of course, we can’t do it,” she added. “That’s where we’re at right now.

“We’re looking to see if there is interest, and once we get a number of responses saying, yes, they will participate, then we will proceed and let everyone know we’re doing it.”

Booth explained the major difference in food preparation guidelines is that food (in this case, chili) cannot be prepared in someone’s home unless it been inspected by a public health officer. This means the chili will have to be prepared in a commercial kitchen, a church hall, or another kind of community hall.

“We’re going to be doing this at the Legion, so we’re going to try and set up a day or two before if people want to do their chili there. We’ll try to arrange that,” said Booth.

Organizers tentatively have slated Friday, Oct. 29 as the date for the event, which will run during the lunch hour and early afternoon as it did in previous years.

The last chili cook-off, organized by the Fort Frances Museum, was held in the fall of 2006. Prior to that, it was organized and hosted by the Fort Frances Times.

“We always thought the chili cook-off was a great fall event and because it hasn’t happened for the last couple years, why not bring it back?” remarked Booth. “It was a huge success in the community; people loved it.

“Plus, we were really looking for a fall event or project to do, so we thought instead of reinventing the wheel, we’ll just take on an event that was successful in the past,” she added.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to have success with it, as well.”

Anyone interested in participating in the chili cook-off can contact Booth at 274-5773 or visit the Chamber office at 474 Scott St. (across from Safeway).

In related news, the deadline for the Chamber of Commerce’s consumer survey is today (Sept. 15). Organizers, who were aiming to get at least 100 surveys completed, said about 130 had been turned in as of this morning.

The survey only takes five minutes to do, and may be completed online by visiting www.fortfranceschamber.com, www.fftimes.com, or www.rrfdc.on.ca

The objective of the survey, which was launched Aug. 15, was to have residents give their input on consumer requirements, as well as make suggestions for improvements to the local community.

Survey results will be presented to the public in the near future.

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