By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– Does your chili get rave reviews? Are you known as the master chili chef in your social circle? Want to prove it? Then dig out that secret recipe and sign up to be a community cook at this year’s Happy Trails Chili Cook-off on Saturday, October 19.
Local businesses, clubs and individuals are encouraged to throw their aprons into the running to win the “community cooks” division of the event in a separate competition from the professional cooks who will compete in this International Chili Society sanctioned cook off.
Winners of the professional division qualify to move on to the 2014 World Championships. The cook-off has continued to grow in prestige in the chili world, attracting world-champion cooks and the finest judges. The public is invited to taste and shop their way through booths of chili cooks and vendors. Additional food vendors will be on hand, as well as a beer garden.
The location at Lenny Brewster Sports Center offers easy access, plenty of parking, a playground and lots of room for activities for the whole family. The park is at 21024 Otoe Road. Gates are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the best chili selection between 11am and 2pm. Chili tasting can be extremely limited later in the afternoon.
An expanded Fall Festival area for families will feature more inflatables and “Paint A Truck” – where kids of all ages can take a paintbrush to an actual pick-up truck. The popular horseshoe tournament and live music also returns.
Cost is $5 per adult, with kids 10 and under free if they are not tasting. Paid admission includes a tasting kit, with seven tasting tickets to get you started, plus ballots to vote for the People’s Choice.
“As a regional qualifying event for the World Championship, the Happy Trails Chili Cook Off is like the wildcard round leading up to the World Series,” explained Kathie Martin, event chair. “This event attracts elite cooks and ICS-certified judges, and we are very proud to host it.”
The Happy Trails Chili Cook-Off is the largest annual fundraiser for the Apple Valley Rotary Club, last year surpassing $130,000 in a running total. For more information visit www.HappyTrailsChiliCookOff.com, or call Kathie Martin, chili cook-off chairperson, at (760) 240-7000 x 7070.