LUDLOW, Vt. – Whether it was the peak of the foliage season, the lure of a non-Covid event, or the aroma of multiple chilies in the autumn air, an exceptionally large number of the area residents and visitors made their way through the 25-plus chili offerings of the Ludlow Rotary Club’s 30th Annual Chili Cook-Off.
LRC President Art Randolph summed up the response to the cook-off saying, “Our 30th Annual Chili Cook-Off was a resounding success with a record-breaking number of contestants and visitors, all made possible, thanks to the many volunteers under the leadership of event co-chairs Kevin Barnes and Scott Murphy.”
According to event co-chairman, Kevin Barnes, “We always know our chili cook-off will attract people, but we never expected such a large number of active tasters as we saw this Saturday.”
The size of anxious participants was clear from observations by Rotarian David Almond, one of the gatekeepers for the cook-off, who noted, “The people wanting to take part in the event were standing in lines from Depot Street to Berkshire Bank and down to DJ’s. We had prepared a very large number of brochures and expected them to be adequate for the entire event, but halfway through we had to prepare more on an emergency basis.”
Two forms of awards were made to the chili providers, one by a panel of three judges and a second by votes made by the tasters.
The panel of judges, consisting of Alice Nitka, Anthony Segreto, and Logan Nicoll, vote for Birds Nest Chili by Shelli Steinfeld as the “Best Chili,” Chernobyl Chili by BR Mechanical Services as the “Spiciest,” and RV Tech Center Culinary for “Team Spirit.”
Votes cast by the cook-off “tasters” selected the following chili providers:
- First Place: Bird’s Nest Chili by Shelli Steinfeld,
- Second Place: Lone Star Chili by Todd Patane,
- Third Place: Big Chonga Chili by Sam’s Restaurant,
- Fourth Place Honorable Mention tie: Firehouse Chili by Ludlow Fire Department and Ludlow’s Monster Buck by Marissa Tanner.
Kim Lampert, LRC’s Treasurer, enthusiastically added, “Thanks to all our sponsors of this event. See you at the 31st Annual event – always held the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend.”
Proceeds this year went to the Ludlow Rotary Charitable Fund. This fund is used for local student scholarships, town projects, and other area needs. Special thanks to all the sponsors, volunteers, and the town of Ludlow for making this event possible.