Monday, May 31, 2010

MONDAY - May 31, 2010



The weather forecast: 90 degrees and windy. The real weather: Very gusty winds early in the day, but nobody lost their canopy. Later the wind subsided and the temperature hit 93 degrees.


This event is much more than a chili cookoff. It is a great community happening. In addition to the ICS-sanctioned contests, there is an open salsa contest, and an open chili contest with prizes for Best Restaurant, Celebrity Cooks (elected officials) and Community Cooks (everybody else). Each participant brings a minimum of eight gallons of chili, and the competition is fierce---especially among the politicians! This year we were graced with the City Council members from four different Wards, a Superior Court Judge who is hoping to become our next Distract Attorney, and our very own U.S. Congressman as well as his opponent. Magnolia Avenue, a four-lane thoroughfare which is the main artery in Riverside, is closed to traffic for a distance of one mile. Every foot of space along both sides of the median is covered with an activity. There is a quality craft fair in which all participants must have hand-crafted merchandise, food vendors of many sorts, an area for children's activities and contests and a car/motorcycle show which runs out of room for participants each year. There are two stages, one at the chili cookoff and one at the car show. Both stages feature excellent bands and other entertainment. The "Little Miss Chili Pepper" and "Little Mr. Hot Sauce" contests for children ages four to twelve had 35 contestants in each division!


On the ICS side, we were pleased with the turnout of cooks in all of the categories. There were 12 salsa contestants, 11 people cooked chili verde cooks and 15 competed for traditional red chili. A quick count of Southern California folks who could not compete because they were already qualified for the World's Championship, comes up with 15 red cooks and 10 chili verde cooks. Many of them came to help out with the judging, scorekeeping, wrangling and other tasks associated with putting on a chili cookoff. Everyone's support is greatly appreciated. Our usual emcee, Claude Covington, could not work this year, as he is suffering from ill health. He and his wife, Joyce, stopped by for a while, but had to leave early. In his stead we called upon "Dr." Dave Eiser to stand in as the emcee. Interviewing 70 kids in the contests was above and beyond the call of duty for a rookie emcee! Dave did a great job. You'll probably see him up on the stage in the future, as he seemed to enjoy his new role.


Bill Ray chairs this cookoff, assisted by Karen. Chief Judge is Steve Porter. Chief Scorekeeper is Allene Macklin, who was assisted by Sylvia Steinberg and Mary Ellen Weber. Chief Wrangler was Dennis Macklin. After a short delay to allow for the tallying of the public votes, the awards were announced. The ICS winners were:


Best First-Time ICS Cook: Frank Howe. Frank and his team have been competing for two or three years in unsanctioned cookoffs. They decided that it was time to "dip their big toes into the ICS ocean". We hope to see them often at future cookoffs.



5th, Mike Austin

4th, Marian Donato

3rd, Mark Hammes

2nd, Sachiko Brecke

1st, Red Brecke


Chili Verde:

5th, Armando Sanchez

4th, Irene Menchaca

3rd, Jan Brown

2nd, Sheila Beller

1st, Mark Hammes


ICS People's Choice Chili:

3rd, Nick Donato

2nd, Charlie Blosfield

1st, Charlie Harber


Traditional Red Chili:

5th, Patricia Sanchez

4th, Charlie Blosfield

3rd, Ken Brown

2nd, Gene Beller

1st, Don Hammes


Good luck to all at the World's Championship in New Hampshire!





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