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First-time entries simmer to top

Many cooks incorporate unusual ingredients in their chili entries. St. Brigid’s at Hi-Park, which competed in the amateur category, used hard cider and apples. The entry won a judge’s award for uniqueness. (Republican Eagle photo by Anne Jacobson)1 / 2
Bill Hanisch (center) chats with guests during the United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha and Pierce Counties’ 10th chili cook-off. Hanisch Bakery competes in the professional category and won awards for costumes and display. (Republican Eagle photo by Anne Jacobson)2 / 2

The 10th annual United Way Chili Cook-Off had two first-time entries take home the people’s choice award for best chili.

Women Cents “Women Cents Wondrous Cauldron of White Chicken Chili” won the people’s choice award in the amateur category and King’s Place “King Classic Chili” won the people’s choice award in the professional category.

Maureen Nelson, executive director of United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha and Pierce Counties, estimated 300 to 350 people attended Thursday’s event.

Businesses, restaurants and non-profits from Cannon Falls, Miesville, Lake City, Pierce County and Red Wing accounted for the 26 different groups and 33 different kinds of chili.

Treasure Island Resort and Casino hosted the event and participated in all three categories as well as donating the space, condiments and cornbread.

Although attendance was down, Nelson said people stayed to see who won the people’s choice. And new process for buying votes paid off.

“We sold more votes,” she said, adding they raised an estimated $150 extra from attendees buying more votes for their favorite chilis.

Dave Murphy, president of Red Wing Shoes, and Kevin Davison, director of station operations at Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island nuclear plant, again have a competition with hair dyeing involved.

This year, however, Murphy and Davison have challenged all the companies conduct workplace United Way fundraising campaigns and the winner isn’t the group that raises the most money, but the group with the highest participation, Nelson said.

Another difference from last year’s competition, Nelson said, is the winner’s hair will be dyed blue, the hope being more participation will come from employees who would like to aid in embarrassing their boss.

Overall Nelson said people had fun with the event.

“The chili was good, the band was good,” she said.

Chili Cook-off winners

Best costumes:

Amateur - Bic/ Norwood

Professional - Hanisch Bakery

Best display

Amateur- Bic/ Norwood

Professional- Hanisch Bakery

Best named chili

Amateur - People’s Natural Gas by the NAMI& RW Youth Outreach Team

Professional - Delayed Ignition – by Hearth & Home Technologies

People’s Choice

Amateur - Women Cents for Women Cents Wondrous Cauldron of White Chicken Chili

Professional – King’s Place for King Classic Chili

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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