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Judges ready to chow down chili

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With the Times’ annual Great Chili Cook-off coming up tomorrow, everything is in place, including the lineup of judges willing to indulge—or perhaps in some cases brave—their taste buds.

This winner of this year’s chili cook-off will be decided by Laurie Walsh, Marla Thomson, and Ala Dulas.

“I’m a general fan of food,” said Walsh. “I think it’s going to be fun. Personally, I like the hot stuff, but I guess there will be lots of varieties to taste.”

Walsh also has some experience on the other side of the event, entering his chili concoction with former Gillons’ Insurance co-worker Chris Wielinga in the 2000 cook-off.

They wanted to enter again last year, but were a little too late giving notice before the lineup of chefs was established.

But now that his “partner in crime” has moved to Sarnia, Walsh decided it was time to have all the chili and eat it, too.

“Chili for breakfast—it’s what I always wanted,” joked Ala Dulas, the new station manger at B93-FM here. “I think it’s going to be a hoot. It’s for a great cause and it’s just a great idea.”

Dulas noted she’s something of a chili fan, and jumped at the chance to be a judge and meet the public after recently moving here from Toronto.

“I love chili. I know chili. I can’t cook, but I can make great chili,” she remarked, adding that while this may be true, it’s unlikely you’ll see her behind an apron at next year’s cook-off.

“You can make great chili but when it counts, it never works out,” she lamented.

Thomson, with the Northern Lights Credit Union here, has been a long-tme fan of the chili cook-off.

“I like chili. I make chili. I fry chili. I’ve had chicken chili, vegetarian chili, chili with steak in it, chili with ground beef in it, Hawaiian chili,” she remarked.

“It’s going to be tough to choose the best. There’s so many varieties and if you like chili, you might just like them all,” Thomson added.

This year’s lineup of chili chefs includes:

•Todd Hamilton and David Larocque—“Temporary Inferno” (Lakeland Personnel);

•Dr. Bruce Lidkea—“Eye Watering” Chili (Lidkea, Elliott and Lidkea);

•Lu Caul—“LAST (Lu’s As Kicking [as it gets] Secret Tongue-twitching)” Chili (Lu’s Place);

•Rosanne Kellar and Lincoln Dunn—“May the ‘Forks’ Be With You” Chili (Fort Frances Times);

•Micaela Jensen, Darryl Allan, and Donna Anderson—“Hooters” Chili (Town of Fort Frances);

•Connie Kress—“Pwi Di Good” Chili (Pwi Di Goo Advisory Services);

•Kelly Sigurdson—“NorFabulous” Chili (NorFab Trus staff);

•Laurie Nuttal—“Winning Appeal” Chili (Rainy River District Community Legal Clinic);

•Carol Barrell—“Carol’s Cantenna Thundering” Chili (Carol’s Canteen);

•Bart White—“Black Bart’s CTC [Classic Tasty Chill]” (Canadian Tire);

•Dennis Roach—“High Voltage” Chili (DJ Roach Electric); and

•Cheryl Goldamer and Maureen Calder—“MoCherié Potlickin’” Chili (Sunset Country Ford).

The event will be held Friday under the tent in the Times parking lot from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.—or until the chili runs out.

Cost is $4 for a bowl of chili, a bun, and a drink. Or taste some of each type with the $6 sampler and then vote for your favourite to win the people’s choice award.

The always popular cake roulette also will be held once again, with donated baked goods up for bid. Organizer Susan Martin said she has about 40 cakes donated so far.

All proceeds from the chili cook-off and cake roulette go to local food banks.

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