Meat, heat and a mess of empty bowls |

Meat, heat and a mess of empty bowls

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Chad Carew, left, and Jerry Lind, of Rocklin, Calif., add some final ingredients to their chili at the People's Choice Chili Cookoff on Saturday. Lind placed second in the red chili category.

Obie Oberreuter and Ray Hogand knew they had some stiff competition at the People’s Choice Chili Cookoff in Virginia City on Saturday, but it didn’t bother them.

The pair, competing for the Bucket of Blood Saloon, said they knew who the people’s favorite would be.

“This is our first year doing it, but we know we are going to win,” Hogand joked.

The pair said the secret to good chili was getting just the right level of heat.

“It’s gotta be hot, but not burn your palette. If 20 minutes later your lips aren’t on fire and you want another bowl, that’s good chili,” Hogand said.

The Bucket of Blood Team was among the 21 teams vying to be the best at the International Chili Society qualifying event taking place in the Bucket of Blood parking lot.

Teams could compete in four categories: red chili, green chili, salsa or people’s choice.

“It’s been going on up here for 20 years, but this is only the second year I’ve been involved,” said Jett Aguilar, event coordinator.

In order to be sanctioned as an ICS qualifying event, the competition must meet a minimum number of entries and adhere to the society’s guidelines, which include no beans or pasta and a cooking time no longer than four hours.

There were 21 red chili entries, 11 green chili entries and seven salsa entries, about the same number as in previous years according to Aguilar.

2006 salsa champion John Ammerman, a chef at Glen Eagles Restaurant in Carson City, brought samples of his salsa but was also hoping to qualify his red chili for the national competition in Omaha, Neb., later this year.

“This is my fourth try to qualify my red chili. I’ve stayed with basically the same recipe but I switched to using mail-order spices that are a higher quality,” Ammerman said.

Ammerman said he knows the competition was tough, but thought his tongue gave him an advantage.

“I’m a rookie among all the people competing, but I think my culinary tongue gives me an edge because I cook for a living,” Ammerman said.

Several slots over at the Bean Busters Chili Team booth, Jerry Lind of Rocklin, Calif., was adding more spice to his green chili despite protests from his daughter that it was already too hot.

“It will cool off a little by the time in gets to the judges table and sits,” said Chad Carew, Lind’s son-in-law.

Lind has been in chili competitions for more than 20 years, winning a good portion of them, including one at the Wagon Wheel in Virginia in 1995.

“The secret ingredient, I won’t share that, but the most important ingredient is Cumin,” Lind said.

Carew added, “also time, knowing just when to add the ingredients at the right time to make them work.”

Contest winners

Red Chili

First Place: Ron Judson, Red Bluff, Calif.

Second Place: Jerry Lind, Rocklin, Calif.

Third Place: John Ammerman, Carson City

Green Chili

First place: Skip Cooley, Reno

Second Place: Jerry Lind, Rocklin, Calif.

Third Place: Rick Decker, Pleasanton, Calif.

Best Booth: Susie and Rich Decker, Pleasanton, Calif.

Best Salsa: Larry Boci, Hat Creek, Calif.


See more