The Fortuna Chamber of Commerce put out a challenge to locals to come out for the Fortuna Rodeo Chili Cook Off and compete for the "Rookie of the Year" title.
The community responded and four new rookies answered the call. It was a fight to the finish with lots of smack talk and challenges. Last year, the trophy went to newcomers California Conservation Corps.
The four competitors were made up of KISS FM who came out of the gate immediately stating they were not going for the "Hottest Chili" trophy. The team, which was named "Chili Rockers of the Redwoods" was very proud of their chili, stating "It has everything but the kitchen sink and lots of extra ground beef." They named their complex chili "Kiss our Chili Mix on the Edge." Although they put up a good fight they did not go home with an award their first year.
A.M. Baird Engineering stepped up to compete as a rookie this year with a self-titled team name and chili called "Legal Lip Remover." Without hesitation the team proclaimed the rights to the "Hottest Chili" and confidently served it up knowing their beef, bacon, and Italian sausage chili would be a winner. Like their opponents, KISS FM, they too did not win the coveted title.
A spirit award should have been given to Plumb Construction for their energy and dedication to try and win the rookie and hottest chili titles. With a team name of "Plumb Good Cooks" and chili named "Sweet & Sassy Steak Chili," how could they go wrong? Their specialty spice chili was cooked in a keg and according to team members, "it's all about the spices." Disappointment was felt again as another competitor was passed by.
And then there was one. With the comfort of his business at his back Beverage Plus Foods calmly shared, "I am not going for the hottest chili, but this is a winner. How can it not be? It was cooked with tender loving care." Beverage Plus Foods named their team "Has Beans" and other feisty competitors joked it was because of their age. That did not stop them from winning the "Rookie of the Year" title with their chili, "Sweet Thang" which Beverage Plus Foods described as "a sweet thang with extra bacon and beef."
For more information on the chili cook off, call the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce at 725-3959.
Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beracon
Beverage Plus Foods takes home the coveted "Rookie of the Year" trophy after beating out three other newbies.