Battle of the Chillies to be fought in Morinville

By Étienne Thevou

Morinville – Mild, medium or hot, pots will soon be boiling in Morinville as beans and other ingredients are mixed and nurtured in preparation for the Battle of the Chillies at the Morinville Famer’s Market Sept. 9. The competition pits chili cooks against one another for a chance to be the top chili maker in one of three chili style categories.

“I wanted to come up with some idea on how to promote the Farmer’s Market, especially since we had to move,” said Morinville Farmers’ Market Manager Korien Sampson. “We wanted to make the Farmer’s Market more visible for the town, and so we thought we’d do something fun. Chili Cook Off just kind of popped into my head.”

That idea will burst out of the pot and into the bowl Sept. 2. Sampson said although there are some cooks signed up already, the competition is still looking for more. Contestants can choose to enter the mild Beanies for Wienies category, the medium Chili Chili Bang Bang category or and the hot Blazing Saddles category.

Entering the contest is simple.

“You just need a pot of chili, a Dutch oven or crock pot full of chili,” Sampson said. “However you like to make your chili, that’s the way it comes in.”

Registrants simply fill out a registration form at the library, cook their favourite chili recipe and bring it to the library Friday Sept. 9 by 11:30 a.m. Participants are given a number and judges will not know who made what pot of chili. Registration is $15 per entry and participants can enter more than one category.

“Everything is done completely anonymous,” Sampson said. “The only one who knows who has cooked what chili is me.”
Judging will take place at noon with Fire Chief Ron Cust, Don Bom Buwala from Don’s Bistro and a member of the Morinville Public Library Board acting as judges for the event.

Prizes will be awarded for mild, medium and hot chili winners through donations from Home Hardware, Tim Hortons,, Monday Morning News, Higher Grounds, Frontier Honda, Hunters Print and copy, No Frills, Noah’s Ark Pets and Supplies, Curves, Sal’s Famous, Amanda’s Pizza and Subway.

After the judging, chili will then be sold for $2 per bowl with half the proceeds being used as a fund raiser for the Farmer’s Market.

Sampson said this year has been a rough one for the market due to the logistics of moving from the front and back of the library to the parking lot of the Morinville RC Parish Hall. But now that the transition has been made, both vendors and the public are enjoying the new location. “I’m running about 29 vendors right now,” she said, adding she anticipates more than 30 vendors the week of the competition.

The Morinville Farmer’s Market runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays until the end of September.

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