Well, we are more than three quarters of the way to the 2011 World’s Championship Chili Cookoff, and I, for one, can’t wait! The city of Manchester, NH, who hosted us so well last year, is working incredibly hard to make our stay even better this year. Carol and the ICS are toiling daily at all things Chili to make sure that the event is great!
In my close to thirty years of association with ICS, as a cook and volunteer, I have met lifelong friends, I have travelled places that I would never think to go, and I have seen many changes occur. Gone are the days when we all had huge teams and showmanship was as important to some people as was the “bowl of red”, or even more so. In all of my time here, and in my career, I have learned that consistency is the key factor to the success of any organization, and since accepting the volunteer position as Chief Judge, I have endeavored to implement that philosophy.
To that end, ICS has produced an “Introduction to Judges Meeting” which is available in multiple forms to any Chief Judge that would like to utilize it. It’s less than four minutes long and covers a lot of material that needs to be said at every judges meeting, and it has received great reviews from those who have heard it, experienced judges to brand newbies. You can listen to it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex8acHQ_PSE and I hope you enjoy it. We’ve even left some stuff out for the Chief Judges to cover.
The second move ICS is making is in the direction of Certified Judges. On Sunday, June 26 we tested our material on a small pack of “guinea pigs” and the reaction was very positive, and we know we have a ways to go before all is right. Let me explain exactly what we are doing, and how it may affect you:
· The Certified Judging Class is a means to bring some consistency to the knowledge of our judges, just as the Judges meetings at our events help us. I know that some of the newer judges have listened to those meetings, gotten confused, and never returned to a cookoff, so we lose potential members.
· The Certified Judging Class is NOT mandatory in order to judge. ICS is not presumptuous enough to think that we can “TEACH” judging to those who have been doing it for years. However, we CAN make sure that the new judges coming into our organization have the ability to learn faster than us “old pros” did. That being said, anyone is welcome to take the course, or volunteer to become qualified to facilitate one in your area.
· Simply because of location, we are presently testing the Class in Southern California. It is the only way that the success can be monitored and acted on.
All of this is a wordy way of saying “Change is Good”, and nobody is jamming anything down your throat. ICS is a work in progress, and always will be.
Thank you all for your help and support, especially at the events.
The ICS Certified Judges program has officially launched! Bill and Karen Ray did a fantastic job on the first class, held Sunday, June 26 in Riverside, CA. There were participants ranging from World’s Champions to new member judges and everyone agreed it was a very productive day. We all look forward to more! Carol and the ICS have worked many hours putting a great program together, and it really shows.
ICS is working on the potential of holding at least one class during the week of the WCCC in Manchester.
We will post notification of other class locations as they become available.
Thanks again Bill and Karen. GREAT JOB! You have set the bar for any of us who think we are instructors.
Well, Cook’s Corner is done until next year. We had such great weather and a really great turnout of cooks. I asked and the cooks responded - I am really thankful to all of you who came to support Rhonda and Don! Don showed up for a couple hours in the morning, but it was too tiring and he went home. Rhonda, especially, was thrilled to have 24 Red cooks this year. We also had 13 Verde and 10 Salsa. So we will remain a Regional for next year. A great big thank you goes out to the ICS Judges that showed up to help, especially the Ward’s. Barbara was a great big help as my assistant scorekeeper and Norm was grateful for Charlie’s help in the judging area. Charlie pitched in wherever he saw a need and we want to thank both he and Barbara for their help. Also want to thank Carol and Dave for showing their support and the Beatys, the Crawfords - Tish was also a really big help as my other assistant scorekeeper, she did a great job. (I see a Chief Scorekeeper in the making). The Dyers, Steinbergs and Darlene Taylor and her son also pitched in to help after they were done cooking Verde.
We had a tremendous crowd of spectators this year, I think more than we have ever had. Cook’s Corner is a biker’s place where they can get drinks and really good food. The breakfast burrito is so big that if you order one you better be really hungry or have someone to split it with. The kitchen staff works their butts off cooking and serving food all day.
Rhonda keeps everything running smoothly and is always Johnny on the spot when we need anything in the judging area. She is a great Chairperson to work with and I hope to keep working with her as long as the cookoff is there. Also, she is getting married in September and I want to wish her all the best. Now on to the important part, THE WINNERS:
SALSA – 10 Contestants
3rd Place: Mike Austin
2nd Place: Mike O-Sullivan
1st Place: Eileen Beaty (This gives Eileen her Hat Trick)
CHILI VERDE – 13 Contestants
3rd Place: Bob Dyer
2nd Place: Barry Steinbertg
1st Place: Jan Brown
RED CHILI – 24 Contestants
4th Place: Armando Sanchez
3rd Place: Red Brecke
2nd Place: Jim LaTendresse
1st Place: Marty Leitner (Marty drove in from Sandy Valley, NV and it was worth the drive)
IT WAS POSTED ON DICK’S BLOG THAT 25 RED, 10 VERDE AND 10 SALSA WAS NEEDED FOR COOK’S CORNERS BUT THAT IS WHAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE NOT NEED. THIS YEAR ONLY 20 RED, 7 VERDE AND 7 SALSA ARE NEEDED FOR A LEGAL REGIONAL. THE 20,10,10 RULE DOES NOT TAKE EFFECT UNTIL THE 2011-2012 CHILI YEAR (WHICH BEGINS ON OCTOBER 1)!
SOUTHWEST REGIONAL & NEW MEXICO STATE - AUG. 6-7, 2011
The Route 66 Casino, hosts of the Southwest Regional and New Mexico State Championship, have rolled back room rates to the 2010 rate of $66.00 a night for the weekend of August 6 and 7. The number to book your reservation is 1-866-711-7829 and please let them know you are a chili cook. It’s going to be a great weekend in Albuquerque in August! We have got an awesome judging panel set up already, so you know the best will advance to the 2011 WCCC. Remember, 2 days, 6 winners and mucho fun!
It turned out to be a beautiful day. The weather was probably in the 80’s. This cook-off is held right down the middle of Old Town Tehachapi. We had 23 Red cooks, 6 Verdes (for money only) and 10 Salsas. The chairperson Lori has already said she can’t wait until next years cook-off.
Before, I list the winners, Barry & I would like to “Thank” all the cooks that came out. We also, would like to “Thank” those who came only to judge & help us. A special “Thank You” to the Rays, Wards & the chairperson from the Bakersfield Cook-off Walter Scott, without whose help the cook-off would not have run as smoothly as it did.
Here we go with the winners
2nd Place Eileen Beaty
1st Place Red Brecke
Verde (MONEY ONLY - NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE IT A QUALIFIER)
The Marylnd State Chili Cookoff GONZO CUP Competition
Hey all of you qualified red cooks! The Maryland State Chili Cookoff is being held on August 20th in Germantown, MD. The location is behind the Hard Times Cafe’ - yes, you know the one, the one founded by the World famous Parker Brothers. No, not the purveyors of games, the other Parker Brothers. So on to the meat of the subject. For the past several years the cookoff has hosted the not yet famous but yet Notorious “GONZO CUP”. This is a winner take all competition for all qualified red cooks. I wanted to see if there was any interest out there to be able to have this good spirited competition again this year. So if you are tired of my ramblings all you have to do to shut me up is send me an email, snail mail, Facebook message, write it on my wall or tie a note to a brick and chuck it through my window and let me know if you are interested in competing. ALL ICS RULES will be active in this competition and it will be run accordingly. We would like to have 5 cooks sign up to compete. That is all for now.
Thank you for your time and have a most lovely, wonderful, productive day!
The weather gods smiled on us this year! We had two glorious days at Thorpe Park in Flagstaff, AZ for the 28th Annual Route 66 Regional and the 40th Annual Arizona State championship. About 20 of us assembled Friday night for the traditional cooks and judges dinner at Salsa Brava restaurant, one of our many sponsors. A great time was had by all. Saturday morning dawned sunny and almost no wind and the cooks started arriving. We had 5 new cooks on Saturday and one fly in from Virginia, plus a couple of others who could only cook the regional, so we set them up “outside” the gate, whereas the two day cooks, all veterans, got to set up inside. Weather held, a couple of good gusts was all during the day and the crowd was good, but not record numbers, as the town had many activities going this weekend. Chili lasted all day and the judges did their part, picking some awesome chili’s and salsa’s. Only sad note for me was there were no ties to break, as often that is the only chili I get as chairman all weekend. At the the end of the day, the winners were:
Best Booth - Pam O’Sullivan, CA
Peoples Choice - Lee Roy Watson, AZ
3rd Place - Donna Foley, TX
2nd Place - Cindy Haught, NV
1st Place - Susan Hyden, AZ
3rd Place - Michelle Summerville, AZ
2nd Place - Kevin Foley, TX
1st Place - Pam Wright, AZ
5th Place Tie - Don Cullum and Karen Foley, both TX
4th Place - Dave Wright, AZ
3rd Place - Donna Foley, TX
2nd Place - Kevin Foley, TX
1st Place - Pam Wright, AZ
The Arizonans defended their turf pretty well and Pam Wright punched her ticket to worlds after only 3 times cooking red. And she ran away with it! She also got her hat trick.
Sunday was once again a great day and my first time running the 2nd day of a Back to Back. Very mellow compared to the morning zoo of moving in on a Saturday. We were down to 9 reds, verdes and salsas on Sunday, legal for this year but hopefully better next year by at least one each. Things got rolling an hour earlier and the crowd rolled in about 10:30. Quieter group, and a few less than the day before, so the chili held out until the end of the day again. We did have 2 more new cooks for Sunday, but for the most part it was a very seasoned group from Texas, Nevada and Arizona. 2 people who were missed by many were Dick and Nancy Swenberger, who were up at a large family gathering in Minnesota. Hardly seemed like an Arizona cookoff without them in attendance. The Sunday winners were:
Best Booth - Mike Herrera, AZ
Peoples Choice - Mark Haught, NV
3rd Place - Don Cullum, TX
2nd Place - Dave Wright, AZ
1st Place - Donna Foley, TX
3rd Place - Dave Wright, AZ
2nd Place - Michael Watson, AZ
1st Place - Michelle Summerville, AZ
4th Place Tie - Mike Herrera and Susan Hyden, both AZ
3rd Place - Donna Foley, TX
2nd Place - Kevin Foley, TX
1st Place - Dave Wright, AZ
Dave and Pam are NOT the first husband and wife team to win the same event here the one day after the other. Both Bob and Kathy Plager have done it in red and the same year, Mike and Kay Rook of Colorado also did it in Verde. Dave is the first Arizonan other than yours truly to have won the state red title in the last 20 years! Hope to see you in Flagstaff in 2012, it’s a great weekend!! Best of luck on the chili trail
The 2nd Annual 5 Alarm Mountain Madness Regional Chili Cookoff at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA had good crowds, good weather (until the last 20 minutes) and good bands. It also had Great Cooks, a Great Location and a Great Chairperson. We were happy to see cooks from PA, MD, VA, WV, OH, KY, NJ, CA, and FL. We also were graced with the presence of 2 of the reigning World Champions and 1 former World Champion. This was our 2nd year as chief judge and scorekeeper and it was a blast. Ashli Mazer and the entire staff at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort bent over backward for the cooks. We had a catered cooks party Friday night and fantastic accomodations (including nearly 3 city blocks of townhomes) in front of the pool and zebra enclosure (yes, you read that right - zebra in the backyard and lions in the front). Being so close to the buffalo too, not only could we roam from one house to another, we could frolic like cooks do as well.
We had almost all of the judges from last year return and added some new judges to the fold. The judges were very serious and they were as quiet as church mice as they scrutinized every last bowl and from what I read, left good comments. In addition to our now “regular” set of judges, Tom Hoover, stepped to the finals table to judge the best of what Nemacolin had to offer.
So to the results…
Salsa (18 salsa entries)
3rd Christian Parker Virginia
2nd Tom Hoover Ohio
1st Laurie Midgley Ryffel Maryland
Verde (19 Verde entries) This was a good batch of verdes. Every single entry got a point.
3rd Jim Neves Ohio
2nd Matt Bush West Virginia
1st Tom Hoover Ohio
Red (31 entries)
5th Matt Bush West Virginia
4th Beverly King Virginia
3rd Matt Levy Pennsylvania
2nd Sally Shenk Pennsyvania
1st Kit Hoff Ohio
We would like to personally thank: Diane Lentz, for helping Kim and I from set up to tear down, and being her usual “Southern Belle” self. Jim Parker, for helping set up the judging area and keeping the the drinks and spoons on move. Tom Hoover, for judging the finals table and being the center of attention.
Like I said last year, if you haven’t been to this cookoff you are missing out on one of the most well run, cook friendly events that I’ve ever been to. Ashli Mazer and the group at Nemacolin know the definition of hospitality. Next year promises to be just as good. If anyone wants any information feel free to contact me.
For Onionista, this year’s Spring Fever was a little spicier than ones past – thanks to Chilihead.
As chapter one of this love saga opened, we saw Onionista and Chilihead just as they met and bonded over a mutual love and appreciation of chili. Since then, they’ve been as inseparable as onions and chili peppers.
As you may recall from the “love at first bite” beginning, yours truly (also known as the Food Enthusiast) brought you this spicy tale of love, romance, chili and onions. It’s a yarn only I can spin, but this is not about the storyteller, it’s about true love. A love made in food heaven. A love so everlasting you could compare it to Romeo and Juliet, Sampson and Delilah, macaroni and cheese.
When this all began, it was a stormy February, the coldest month of the year. It was a perfect time for romance to fill the air between these two hotties. This romance sizzled from the start and as winter turned to spring, their relationship heated up like the weather. All of those weeks and months went by in the blink of an eye. And then came June.
Even though this time of year is traditionally linked to backyard barbecues and grilling, Onionista and Chilihead prefer to gather around the chili pot. After all, that’s where their fabled romance began and where it has continued to boil. It only seems natural that gathering around the chili pot is a daily routine for this heated romance. It’s part of the steamy affair, but it also has a purpose. There’s a goal in mind and both want desperately to reach that goal and come out on top.
For Chilihead, the goal is preparing for this fall’s World’s Championship Chili Cookoff and the two have spent much of the spring perfecting his chili recipes – which, of course, includes onions. In fact, Chilihead’s love of onions has only grown stronger during this time of preparation. His deep love for Onionista has sparked an even greater interest in how he plans to win the championship. The sweetness of the onions is crucial in his new hunger to win the title – to show his true love how she is the inspiration for everything chili in his life. You might say his drive is much more a’peel’ing now that his heart has been won over by his Juliet.
Onionista has been busy herself – harvesting the yellow, red and white onions that complete any chili recipe and backyard barbecue. As she’s been known to say, onions may be a year-round crop, but nothing compliments summer like a perfectly prepared onion dish. In addition to being a chili aficionado, Onionista is also a pizza connoisseur. The combinations are almost endless. Pepperoni and onions, sausage and onions, pineapples and onions, even cheese and onions. Check out her blog for some delicious Onionista pizza recipes.
When they’re not bonding over Chilihead’s World Championship Chili or Onionista’s delectable pizza recipes, the two also share a love of movies and music. Recently, they discovered a mutual love of the Beatles’ song “Glass Onion.” Of course, Chilihead has the full collection of his favorite group — The Red Hot Chili Peppers. They also went to the Red Box one day and rented Julie and Julia, a classic in their foodie world.
They may not be a conventional couple, but one thing is certain for Onionista and Chilihead – it is sure to be one hot, hot summer. And don’t think it will end with summer. Even when the leaves start to turn, you can bet this romance won’t be swept away by the autumn wind.
We again held a very successful cook off in spite of morning rains and afternoon humidity. I can never show enough appreciation to the chili cooks, sponsors, judges and dozens of people that help put this event together. The Men’s Club of Little Flower Church/School along with Neuhoff Media of Springfield and Ray’s Chilli who contributed funding to this years event to raise our red winner award to $1000. Valco Awards of Springfield designed and donated all of our trophies. We are still receiving sponsor donations but it looks like we will meet our goal of netting $5,000 that will benefit the 98 residents of Brother James Court.
It was a fully packed house when we announced our winners starting with a special “Peoples Choice" Trophy awards which was determined by tasters tabulated vote. Our winners this year were Salsa - Joe Regan (Springfield, IL) Chili Verde - Gary Ballweg (Springfield, IL ) Red Chili - Nick Groesch (Chambersburg, IL) The Best Showmanship Booth went to Lloyd Weir (Normal, IL)
I can always count on the support of Chief Judge Mark Komnick, New Berlin, IL and Chief Scorekeeper Tom Calvert, Taylorville, IL.(who has already obtained his hat trick to the 2011 World Competition). The event runs smoothly and on time because of them. From Brother James Court Ron Wampler, Administrator and Ruth Blaskovich of the Development Office were on hand pitching in, and to capture the whole day on film was my good friend Kate Spencer of Nashville TN.
We are proud to provide you with the list of winners.
See you next year!
Jill Hanney, Chili Cook-Off Chairman
Friends of Brother James Court, President
3rd Place - Gary Ballweg - Springfield, IL
2nd Place - Joe Regan - Springfield, IL
1st Place - Scott Barrett - Brookfield, IL ($50)
3rd Place - Nick Groesch - Chambersburg, IL ($25)
2nd Place - Gary Ballweg - Springfield, IL ($50)
1st Place - Scott Barrett - Brookfield, IL ($200)
4th Place - Joe Bianco - Springfield, IL (First Time Cook !)
3rd Place - Gary Ballweg, Springfield, IL ($100)
2nd Place - Lloyd Weir - Normal, IL ($200)
1st Place - Paul Wessing - Farmersville, IL ($1000) - Obtained his hat trick to the 2011 World Competition
IT’S WITH GREAT SADNESS THAT WE REPORT THE PASSING OF KENTON STAFFORD, THE 1988 ICS WORLD’S CHAMPION. KENTON WAS PREPARING TO TAKE HIS FAMILY ON A CAMPING TRIP. HE HAD NO HISTORY OF HEART PROBLEMS, BUT SUFFERED A FATAL HEART ATTACK ON JUNE 4TH.
THE MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR KENTON WILL BE THURSDAY, JUNE 9TH, AT 10:00am, FAITH COMMUNITY CHURCH, 355 D ST., FILLMORE, CA.
CONDOLENCES MAY BE ADDRESSED TO HIS WIFE, LINDA, AND FAMILY.
THE STAFFORD FAMILY, 360 SIERRA VISTA AVENUE, FILLMORE, CA 93015
Looking for a way to reach thousands of chili cooks, judges and enthusiasts? Then, gather around the chili pot - we’ve got the solution for you. Through our Web banner advertising program, you can reach your target audience and direct them to your website with just one click. We offer a variety of banner ad options. So whether it’s an event you’re promoting or a new product launch, we’ve got you covered.
With all the rule changes this year, it is important that you use the forms that have those changes reflected on them. I have been getting numerous sanctioning applications (along with memberships, contestant lists, cooks rules, flyer info, etc) that are the old ones, most likely copied from year to year. PLEASE - use of those forms will cause considerable problems for me as well as cooks, especially when new cooks are given wrong information. I will send back all paperwork that does not reflect the new changes and give you the new ones to sign and return. Just throw away all the old forms and use the new ones!!
The new forms are sent in the box of cups - usually found at the bottom of that box. PLEASE OPEN THE BOX WHEN YOU GET IT AND RETRIEVE THESE FORMS! If you find you need them ahead of time you can access them on our website, they are all there for your use. Just login with the login name and password that I sent to you in the new cookoff packet (as a chairman), use your login name and password you created as a member or call me (904-379-2558) and I will help you. Once you are signed in you will find them listed on the right hand side of the page. THIS IS A MUST! Thanks for your cooperation!
Well, the next to the last Hawaii State CCO at Jack Scaff’s house is in the books. That’s right…next year is the last one here. I have been coming to this cookoff for the last nine years and it has been the best chili cookoff venue I have EVER been to, including the world/international championships, hands down, and I’ve been to a lot of them.
The festivities began Sunday afternoon with Debbie Turner’s chili cooking class in the carport. Many attended, asked questions and sampled the two pots of different chilis she made as she talked about chili secrets and techniques. Afterwards, it was downstairs where Jack and Donna Scaff and crew had prepared a wonderful barbeque dinner accompanied by craft beer and some awesome musical entertainment. Great fun!
The next morning, Memorial Day, was cookoff day. It started with breakfast on the deck overlooking Waikiki with all the fixin’s. The kitchen crew began their duties that would last ALL DAY. Kudos to the kitchen staff who slaved! This is a food fest, folks! And the excitement built as the fighter flyby occurred at 9:15 am. The cooks began their setup, the cooks meeting was completed, the chili proclamations and instructions were read in three different languages, and at precisely twelve noon, the cannon was fired (that set off car alarms in the street) to signify the start of the cookoff…
The guests began to arrive. They were instructed to bring yummy things to eat as an “entrance fee”. They did. ALL DAY LONG. Over 500 of them. New things to sample every 15 minutes! Oh…did I mention the free wine/soda/water/margarita bar in the backyard?…
The mariachi band began in the carport, and the combos in the living room began their entertainment for the guests. Everyone was enjoying their food, drink and the breath taking views of Waikiki.
Turn in time! The competition cups were picked up by runners, expertly judged and the results tallied. As chief judge, my eye was upon all aspects of this cookoff…especially the food!
Finally, the bagpipe piped up signifying the award ceremony. Excitement was in the air, the backyard deck was again crowded, and anticipation of a fresh lei award was being looked forward to.
I will post my Roxio PhotoShow and Vimeo videos on the ICS Facebook page for your enjoyment a bit later.
What a signature event and what great hosts, Jack and Donna Scaff! We salute you!
And the winners!;
Salsa (7 entries)
3rd Place – David Shores-Kailua, HI (6 points)
2nd Place – Wayne Ronsman-Waikiki, HI (8 points)
1st Place – Bill Forsyth-Kapolei, HI (15 points). A repeat winner from last year!
Chili Verde (7 entries)
3rd Place – Debbie Turner-Waxahachie, TX (5 points) Won the three way tie!
2nd Place – Sherry Vann-Honolulu, HI (6 points).
1st Place – Wayne Ronsman-Waikiki, HI (10 points)
Red Chili (13 entries)
3rd Place – Adam Gilbert-Kapolei, HI (10 points)
2nd Place – Arlen Walsten- Honolulu, HI (12 points)
1st Place – Mark Conching- Honolulu, HI (14 points)
Many Chief Judges have requested the option of splitting tables at 20 bowls rather than at 25. For the remainder of this cooking season, ICS is granting that request. It is NOT MANDATORY that you split at 20. It will be at the discretion of the Chief Judge whether to use two-table judging with 10 on each table and a finals table or remain at one table with 25. Splitting the tables at less than 20 will NOT be allowed.
If you are coming up for the Flagstaff Chili Festival weekend and plan on attending the Friday night dinner at our sponsor Salsa Brava, please call or email to let me know. They are trying to get a head count so they can plan for space. It is also the same night as the two local High Schools graduation. Thanks for your cooperation!
Paul Whitney - 928-526-4314 (wk) or 928-526-3164 (hm)
We’ve all been to, listened to, or given Judges Meetings that are a bit under par. Therefore, in the interest of creating a level of importance to the judges, new and experienced, and because the cooks deserve to be evaluated by a panel of judges who are concentrating on nothing but the table before them, I have produced an introduction to the Judges and made it available to you. Please listen to it at:
I’m sure you will agree that everything said is good information and should be said at EVERY Traditional Red and Chili Verde Judges Meeting, regardless of the size of the cookoff, the experience of the Judges, or the knowledge and background of the Chief Judge.
I have made the Introduction available on CD, MP3, WMV, or cassette, and it has received positive comments from everyone who has heard it. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.