The flavourful aroma of chili greeted visitors to the Elks Lodge chili challenge in the Legion lounge.
Those attending the event with salivating taste buds weren’t disappointed.
Guests got samples of the 10 entries for $10 and then could return to select a bigger bowl filled from those they liked the most.
“It was good,” said spokesperson Sam Morrison. Compared to previous years “I thought the quality was excellent. They were all unique. I’m glad I wasn’t a judge.”
The three judges — Mayor Clive Tolley, Chamber of Commerce Manager Rob Clark and Moose Jaw Express columnist Ron Walter —concurred.
Tolley was impressed by the depth and variety of the chili entries.
Clark and Walter, both having judged previous chili challenges, thought the ballot counters might have to toss a coin to get a winner.
Clear winners emerged selected by the judges and the people's choice.
Dale Wilson won the nod from the judges while Duane Deis of Regina took the people’s choice award. Deis repeated a win from the last challenge.
All manner of ingredients and chilis were entered from regular bean, hamburger and tomato ingredients to some with potatoes or mushrooms or corn
One entry was made with chicken with some added cream cheese that sweetened it and made it look creamy.
Morrison would have liked to see more people coming in off the street to eat the chili in this, the first chili challenge since the pandemic began.
“We didn’t advertise it that much. We didn’t make a decision for a date until the last minute.”
The event wasn’t as big a fundraiser as on previous occasions but “we got some people out doing things and that’s important.”
The Elks Lodge has done about eight of the challenges over the years.
Ron Walter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org