Chili teams getting set for annual cook-off

Duane Hicks

The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce has lined up teams that are getting ready to take people’s taste buds around the world for this year’s “Great Canadian Chili Cook-Off and Cake Roulette” tomorrow (Oct. 20) at the Legion.
The event will run from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and everyone is welcome, Chamber manager Anthony Mason said.
“The public can come on out and really support this year’s food drive,” he noted.
“With Shaw and Campbell’s tripling the food poundage, one of the things I really want to push this year is for people to bring out non-perishable food items.
“Or if they want to make a cash donation, we can take that, too,” Mason added.
A total of 12 teams will be serving up chili and vying for either the “Best Chili Award” or “People’s Choice Award.”
Following an international theme this year, each team was asked to pick a country.
“I’ve asked the teams to put a different spin on the chili,” Mason said. “If they can go out and find a chili that’s made in a certain country, that’s great.
“It’s more or less just for fun, and something different.”
Each team, and the country they’re representing, include:
•Seven Generations Team ‘A’ (Italy};
•Seven Generations Team ‘B’ (China);
•Gillon’s Insurance Brokers (Jamaica);
•CitiFinancial (Ireland);
•Holmlund Financial (Hawaii);
•CIBC (Canada);
•TD Bank (Mexico);
•Boston Pizza (Greece);
•Rainycrest (Spice of Life);
•FFHS Jessica and Ashley (Tahiti);
•Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre (Chile); and
•Shaw (France).
Holmlund Financial, the defending chili champs, is ready to rumble with a recipe inspired by the 50th U.S. state known both for its volcanoes and pineapples.
“We have a recipe already, and it’s going to be a little hot and a little sweet,” said Susan Bodnarchuk.
She added Holmlund’s team has taken the Hawaiian theme beyond its recipe, and anyone who sees them will make no mistake whom they’re representing.
Bodnarchuk also said the international flavour of this year’s cook-off should create interest for people, and hopefully lures them out to try some different chili.
“I think there’s going to be a good variety because of it,” she reasoned.
Janet Bell, with the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre, said the library staff has never participated in the cook-off before and thought it would be fun, as well as a good chance to promote the new facility and its new IT co-ordinator, Raj Sritharan.
As for their chili recipe, Bell said the staff was inspired by a certain current event.
“We don’t want to give away our secret, but all miners eat free,” she noted.
Krista Gushulak of CIBC said her team hasn’t tried out their recipe yet, but are hoping it’s good—at the very least as a matter of national pride.
“We all kind of thought of different Canadian ingredients to add to our chili,” she hinted. “Hopefully it will be good.
“It’s a little experiment but it sounds good.”
Chili costs $5 a bowl or $7 for a sampler. Those who opt for the latter then can vote for their favourite concoction.
The team that gets the most votes this way will get the “People’s Choice Award.”
Seven Generations earned that honour last year.
As in past years, there also will be a cake roulette, where people put down their money for the chance to win cakes and other goodies.
Mason said anyone wanting to donate baked goods can bring them to the Legion tomorrow morning.