After a three year sabbatical, we were finally able to hold one of our favourite events, our annual Chili Cookoff! This was our sixth cookoff and we continue to see new and innovative chili creations. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for our more adventurous eaters, we didn’t see the recurrence of insects or wild game this year. However, we did sample some new flavours including burn-your-mouth-off ghost pepper chili, mango bacon chili, pickle chili, dessert chili, and a couple of cocoa chilis. Thanks to our 18 competitors who took up the gauntlet and fought valiantly for the title of chili champ.

We had over 100 judges this year who were each provided 25 kidney beans for voting. Beans were tossed, bribes were offered, and debates were held over which chilis were the most delicious. After everyone had a chance to sample and vote on the 18 chili entries, we weighed the bean votes. In a case where the weight of the beans was close, we counted the beans.

The five chilis that received the most beans were:

Fifth Place – Tracy Bausmer with her cozy yumminess on a cold day chili with a unique option of fluffy rice to absorb the yummy sauce
Fourth Place – Two of the Young family kids with their P.I.C.K.L.E chili (Perfect Ingenious Crunchy Krazy Lovely Excellent tasting) that did indeed have pickles in it
Third Place – A young Bausmer family member with her dessert chili (pudding, rice krispie cereal, brownie, marshmallow, jell-o, sprinkles and milk)
Second Place – Scott & Stephanie Musselman with their lots-of-extra-toppings chili
First Place – Laurel Pfeiffer with her award-winning smokey, sweet and a lil spicy chili (see recipe below)

We were thrilled that two of the top five winners were our youngest competitors and look forward to seeing what concoctions they will come up with in years to come! We have not named them specifically due to privacy reasons.

The winner will be officially crowned at next Sunday’s service so be sure to come to service for the official coronation of our chili champ, Laurel Pfeiffer! Our previous chili champ, Jenn Wiens, will relinquish her crown and ladle after holding her title for a lengthy three years!

Finally, many many thanks to Jennifer King who organized the chili cookoff, and daughter Julia, her trusty and friendly assistant. We all had such fun and some people are already starting to plan their chili recipes for next year’s event!


Laurel searched the internet for award winning recipes and based her entry on this Southern Soul Chili recipe but, as with all amazing cooks, made her own secret modifications. Thanks, Laurel, for (kind of) sharing your award winning recipe!