A hungry lunchtime crowd of about 200 people flocked to the local Legion yesterday for the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Great Canadian Chili Cook-off and Cake Roulette,” with first-time participants the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre named as the 2010 champs.
With teams having been asked to choose an international theme for their chili, library staff based theirs on the Chilean miners who were trapped for 69 days.
The team’s motto was: “Feeling trapped? You don’t need to wait 69 days for a rescue. ‘Rescue Me Chile’ is here!”
Judges Tannis Drysdale, Lillian Gerley (UPS Store), and chef Todd Moxham chose Boston Pizza’s Greek chili as their second-place choice, followed closely by Shaw’s French chili in third.
Meanwhile, CIBC was named the People’s Choice winners by members of the public who taste-tested all of the 11 varieties and then voted for their favourites.
They garnered 31 votes for their Canadian-themed chili to win, followed closely by Shaw (30 votes) and the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre (19 votes), with the remaining votes split between any number of teams.
This year’s cook-off featured 11 teams, each adopting an particular country or region.
Also taking part were Seven Generations Team ‘A’ (Italy) and Team ‘B’ (China), Gillons’ Insurance Brokers (Jamaica), Holmlund Financial (Hawaii), TD Bank (Mexico), Rainycrest (Spice of Life), and FFHS students Ashley DeBenedet and Jessica Mainville (Tahiti).
In related news, the cook-off also was a drive for local food banks, where people were encouraged to bring along non-perishable food items.
The drive got a major boost when Link-Line Contractors Ltd. rep Tom Fowler handed Chamber president Cathy Emes a cheque for $5,000 to buy items for local food banks.
Link-Line is the company that has been replacing natural gas lines for Union Gas throughout Fort Frances.
“It has been a pleasure working in the Fort Frances community for the past two years,” Link-Line Contractors Ltd. president Rick Delaney in a statement.
“Link-Line would like to thank the residents for their patience, understanding, and support of our construction crews,” he added.
“As we wrap up this project, we would like to give a small token of our appreciation back to the community.”
“Link-Line made the event a true success, coming out and making that huge donation to the community,” noted Chamber manager Anthony Mason.
“That’s what this event is—a community event where businesses come out and put on a pot of chili,” he explained.
Mason added the public also donated “at least a couple hundred pounds of food” at yesterday’s event.
As previously reported, as part of the “Fill the Food Banks” initiative, every pound of food donated by the community will be matched by both Shaw and Campbell’s—tripling that to about 600 pounds of food.
“Fill the Food Banks” will continue through Nov. 15.
The public can continue to donate non-perishable food items until then at The Place, Robert Moore School, Family & Children’s Service, Shaw’s office, the Fort Frances Public Library and Technology Centre, and the Chamber office.