If you ask Rebecca Spencer about her thoughts on the fifth-annual Great Chili Cook-off, be prepared for an enthusiastic reply.
Spencer, an investment advisor with Holmlund Financial Services here, not only is a die-hard fan of the event—slated for Friday, Oct. 6 in the parking lot of the Times—but is among the 12 chefs vying for top honours this year.
“I’m infectious about it! I love the cook-off—it’s so fun and has an excellent atmosphere,” said Spencer, who’ll be joined by co-worker Susan Bodnarchuk, investment advisor and office manager for Holmlund.
Their chili—a vegetarian blend—lends new meaning to the acronym RRSP.
“It’s called “Rip Roaring Superior Product” but there’s no age-old secret recipe or anything,” Spencer noted.
The cook-off, being held in conjunction with the popular Great Cake Roulette once again, will run from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tickets cost $4 for a bowl of chili, a bun, drink, and piece of cake (in celebration of the Daily Bulletin’s 70th anniversary that day), or $6 for chili samplers.
The cake roulette will feature some 40 desserts and will cost a twoonie per spin.
Proceeds from the event go to local food banks.
Also up for contention will be Celeste’s and The Den (Hair Raising Chili), Lawrence Phillips (Habeas Corpus Chili), Del Cumming, Marg Miller, Edith Newman, and Evie Metke (Golden Girls Chili), Fort Frances Times (Headline Chili), Town of Fort Frances (Taxes Chili), Crazy Ladies (Fabrication Chili), Colin’s Mobile Windshield Repair (Stone Chip Chili), Northern Lights Credit Union (Gee I See Chili), Gillons’ Insurance (Come Taste Gillons’ Hot Deal), the Dough and Deli (Chili), and Bonnie Blue (This Week’s Jackpot Chili).
“[My chili] will kick-start your digestive system for the Thanksgiving long weekend,” chuckled Darryl Allan, the town’s manager of Administration and Finance, who’ll serve up “Taxes Chili.”
“It’s your good old-fashioned down-to-earth chili—an old family recipe from my mom,” he added.
For those who like it hot, Colin Bruyere will have just the recipe on hand in his “Stone Chip Chili.”
While he admitted his chili recipe changes every time he goes shopping for ingredients, at least five elements remain constant.
“Well, I use five different kinds of peppers—it’s a no bean chili—real Texas-style,” he said yesterday. “It’s really hot and spicy—a combination of habanero and jalapeno peppers I put in there.”
Last year’s Great Chili Cook-off netted $1,000. In addition, the Northern Lights Credit Union and Beta Sigma Phi (Phi Iota chapter) also donating $200 each to the cause.