One of the more unusual entrants in the 32 Annual Virginia State Championship Chili Cook-Off was Volvo Truck's Chili & Waffles Team. The guy making the waffles told me it was the weirdest food combo they could dream up. (But the waffles were good, too).
Congratulations are in order today to the Roanoke Valley Harley Owners Group.
They make some killer chili. It’s hot stuff in more ways than one.
You wouldn’t know this if you weren’t one of the 5,000 or so folks Saturday who made it down to Salem Avenue in downtown Roanoke for the 32nd annual Virginia State Championship Chili Cook-Off.
The popular event is a fundraiser for Greenvale School, a nonprofit daycare center in Northwest Roanoke that serves working families. Jenny Lee, the school’s development director, estimated Greenvale raised at least $30,000 through the event.
Among 27 cook teams who chopped, browned, seasoned and stirred up hundreds of gallons of spicy meat stew and salsa, the HOG’s White Knuckle Chili took top honors in the blind-judging competition for the red chili category.
The HOGs also claimed the People’s Choice Award (they’ve won that 11 years running), which means they got the most votes by folks who attended the event.
The coveted judged title carries a $1,000 prize and entry into the World’s Championship Chili Cookoff, which is kind of like the Academy Awards of one-pot cooking
Chuckle at that redneck-chef notion if you like. But this is a serious business, overseen by the International Chili Society, which dates back to the late 1960s and claims to be the world’s largest food competition/festival sanctioning organization.
Its members’ passion for spicy meat stew is as blistering hot as the infamous “ghost chili,” reputedly the most fiery pepper on Earth.
The cooks who showed up at the Railside Plaza early Saturday morning do not take their chili lightly. The HOG group, for example, invested hundreds of hours of labor by 40 to 50 people (they started prepping the night before) and $500 in ingredients and supplies to turn out 40 gallons of chili. Read more »