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Chili Cook-Off celebrates 27 years
July 18, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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Thirty-one cooks from around the region were in Gering Saturday to vie for chili honors in the 27th annual Oregon Trail Days Chili Cook-Off. It’s also the Nebraska state championship event for CASI chili, sponsored by the Chili Appreciation Society International.

Event organizer Bill Schlaepfer said there were more than 90 judges who awarded points to determine the winners in four divisions. There were 24 cooks who competed in the CASI chili category. The open bean category drew 20 cooks, 17 for the green chili category and another eight for the open beef category.

There were also two young cooks in the Junior CASI chili category, for cooks under the age of 18.

“From the cooks I’ve talked with, they absolutely love the new venue at Five Rocks Amphitheater,” Schlaepfer said. “We did have some snarled traffic because of so many people attending so many events, but we got everyone parked. With 2,000 people, delays are inevitable.”

Schlaepfer said he’s looking forward to the 28th cook-off next year. His committee is also working on starting a barbecue category, which will start on Friday and run through Saturday. The extra time is needed as cooks barbecue their meat “low and slow” for up to 16 hours for some cuts.

Awards from this year’s Chili Cook-Off

CASI Chili: 1. Charmaine Sterkel; 2. Don Weber, Texas; 3. Kevin Strauch; 4. Doug Evelyn, Wyoming; 5. Dustin Ludwig, Wyoming; 6. Andrew Reitschneider; 7. Dorothy Evelyn, Wyoming; 8. Mike Adkins, Wyoming; 9. Lizzy Gray; 10. Jerry Arnold.

Open Bean:
1. Kevin Kissler; 2. Ashley Bostron; 3. Mike Adkins; 4. Dustin Ludwig; 5. Kevin Strauch; 6. Jeff Brunner; 7. Steve Sorok; 8. Rita Anderson; 9. Ray Richards and Makayla Castro; 10. Scott Harris.

Open Beef: 1. Bob Ledet; 2. Ed Bostron; 3. Kyle Haberman; 4. Todd Meghini; 5. Scott Harris; 6. Jerry Arnold; 7. Kevin Kissler; 8. Sara Arnold.

Green Chili: 1. Mike Lineman; 2. Kyle Haberman; 3. Bert Flores; 4. Tim Gonzales; 5. Dustin Ludwig; 6. Mike Thyfault; 7. Don Weber; 8. Andrew Reitschneider; 9. Doug Evelyn; 10. Jerry Arnold.
Junior CASI: 1. Rylee Harris;2. Mark Montague.

Showmanship Award
1. Mike Adkins, Government Issue; 2. Jerry and Sara Arnold, Prairie Fire; 3. Kyle Haberman, White Knuckle Chili.

Peoples Choice Award:
Tied: Kevin Kissler, Andrew Rubottom and Rusty Tyler.
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Gotta love Green Chili! Did you know that you can get real New Mexico Green Chile dried and powdered? You haven't lived until you have tried the real stuff! Here is a link to their site: http://www.chimayochilebros.com/shop
- David Scott [2013-07-20 10:06:46]