It was quality, not quantity, at the first Chili Cook-Off to benefit the Gatesway Foundation held at Cherokee Casino/Will Rogers Downs Saturday.
Taking the top prize in the International Chili Society competition for best red chili was Mike Baker from Tulsa with his Buzzard’s Bait Chili. Second place in the ICS red competition went to Don Eastep from Harrison, AR. Third place in the sanctioned ICS red category went to Nathan Lashley’s Toe Jam chili team.
“It was an absolutely perfect day for a chili cook-off,” said veteran chili cook-off organizer and chief judge ChiliJohn Fenrich from Owasso. “The Gatesway people were great in all the help they gave and we hope they will continue to do the chili cook-off to raise much needed funds for a very important community organization.”
Many horse racing fans came from the Will Rogers Downs stands to purchase tasting kits and taste a variety of People’s Choice chili offerings. Not only was there some dynamite red chili on hand, at the Reveille Rotary booth they were offering both red (beef) and white (chicken) chili.
“I tried the white chili and it was absolutely fabulous,” said Judi Myers, CEO of the Gatesway Foundation.
Gatesway is a non-profit Oklahoma agency that provides opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Services are provided throughout Northeastern and Central Oklahoma. Gatesway’s goal is to assure all people served acquire the living skills, vocational skills, and social skills necessary to become a vital part of their community. It is now serving some 400 individuals.
The first Gatesway chili cook-off drew International Chili Society cooks who have competed in numerous ICS World Championship Chili Cook-Offs. Baker will be representing the Mid-America Region at this year’s World Championship in Charleston, WV after winning the cook-off that was held in conjunction with the Claremore Bluegrass Festival.
A lot of chili teams came away winners Saturday.
Non-Profit Chili - 1st Reveille Rotary Club; 2nd Home Stretch Church
People’s Choice Salsa - 1st Toe Jam Chili
People’s Choice Chili - 1st Toe Jap Chili, 2nd Don Eastep, 3rd Home Stretch Church
Best Booth/Showmanship - 1st Toe Jam Chili, 2nd Hit & Run, 3rd Buzzard Bait Chili
International Chili Society Salsa - 1st Don Eastep, 2nd Nathan Lashley
International Chili Society Verde (green) Chili - 1st Don Eastep
International Chili Society Red Chili - 1st Mike Barber, 2nd Don Eastep, 3rd Nathan Lashley.