The Roanoke Valley Harley Owners Group last month brought home a first place People’s Choice award from the World’s Championship Chili Cook-off in Palm Springs, California. It was the first time the group has placed in the world cook-off, said member Mark Reed.
Reed traveled to Palm Springs in October with four other Harley group owners to compete. They qualified for the cook-off because they won first place in the Virginia State Championship Chili Cook-off in downtown Roanoke in May. They’ve been competing in the Roanoke event for more than 20 years and have won it five times, Reed said. They’ve gone to two other world cook-offs — in Las Vegas and in Charleson, WV — but this was the first time they placed.
Reed said there were three competition categories in Palm Springs — red chili, chili verde and salsa. They entered their White Knuckle Chili in the red chili category. For the judged awards, they were not allowed to use beans. For the People’s Choice award, they were allowed to use beans and did. Their recipe, which has been handed down over the years, typically does include beans.
Reed said folks at the cook-off complimented the chili for its flavor, texture and the fact that it wasn’t too spicy.
The win was very exciting for Reed and the group. “I’m still choked up about it,” he said.
The Roanoke Valley Harley Owners Group held fundraisers to help send their crew to Palm Springs; Roanoke Valley Harley-Davidson also assisted, and two members paid their own way. In addition to the cook-off, the five members who went were able to rent some Harleys and do a little sight-seeing. One trip took them up a mountain to 6,400 feet, where they saw snow on the ground.
Congratulations to the group.