Pictured: Ruthie Peterson and her People's Choice Award with organizer Shelby Davis
At today’s inaugural Schroon Lake Chili Cook Off there were winners everywhere. From the benefactors of the event, The Schroon Lake EMS Squad, to the all of those lucky enough to sample the terrific chili from the home cooks and local area restaurants, the smiles on everyone’s faces today said it all.
Dozens came out for the event and sampled 11 varieties of meat and veggie chili. Organizer Shelby Davis, who came up with the idea of the cook off, was very happy with the turnout.
“For our first year out, this was a huge success,” Shelby, said today. “Everybody had a good time”.
Prizes were given in three categories: Best Meaty Chili, Best Veggie Chili and The People’s Choice Award. A panel of four judges awarded points in three categories: flavor, color and texture.
The trophy for the Best Veggie Chili went to Patty Christian for her Witherbee’s Carriage House Vegetarian Chili. Patty also picked up top honors winning the Meaty Chili Award with her Witherbee’s Buckboard Chili, which featured ground beef.
“I’m sweating,” a stunned and smiling Patty (above) said after winning the awards.
Patty said her recipes are a combination of ideas. “I’m a huge fan of Bobby Flay and his south western influences.”
Incredibly, Witherbee’s does not serve chili, but after today’s success, that may soon change.
“Even before the winners were announced people kept telling us that we should serve this at the restaurant”.
The People’s Choice Award -- voted on by the public -- went to Ruthie Peterson, for her “Hot Stuff 21”, named after the 21 ingredients the recipe features. The meat in her chili was skinless chicken thighs.
Ruthie was thrilled with her win and said she’d only cooked the recipe a couple of times. “It‘s different. I’ve tweaked it a bit. It gets its sweetness from sweet potato and the honey.”
Shelby, who owns Shelby’s Kitchen Therapy and Gluten Free Bakery – located inside Mr. P’s Mountain Smokehouse - said she was looking forward to doing this again next year.
“I’m already hearing from some of the home cooks about what they are going to do differently next year".