Cattlewomen ‘out for blood’ at Steamboat Downtown Chili Challenge |

Cattlewomen ‘out for blood’ at Steamboat Downtown Chili Challenge

Mary Kay Monger serves up chili at the Routt County Cattlewomen booth Saturday during the Steamboat Downtown Chili Challenge. The group won the People's Choice award.
Matt Stensland
Best red chili: Smokehouse for Matt’s Red Chili Green chili: Azteca “Area 303” chili People’s choice: Routt County Cattlewomen’s red chili Cornbread: CW3 “Hatch You” cornbread Salsa: Need More Salsa

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Nothing says fall more than chili, and the Routt County Cattlewomen were serving up an award winner Saturday during the Steamboat Downtown Chili Challenge.

Cattlewomen member Mary Kay Monger, a rancher who lives west of Steamboat Springs along the Lower Elk River at the High Tide Ranch, has been participating in the event since it started.

“Don’t ask me the year,” Monger said. “It’s a fun event. We have a good time doing it.”

On Friday, eight Cattlewomen members got together, each bringing their own part of the chili.

“We mix it together,” Monger said. “There’s no recipe. If we don’t like the taste, we start adding special ingredients. We didn’t add any to this.”

Their chili is made using beef entirely from Routt County, including beef from Monger’s ranch.

“No antibiotics, no nothing,” Monger said. “Strictly grass.”

Last year was the first time the Cattlewomen did not receive an award for their chili.

“We’re out for blood this year,” Monger said. “Last year, they shut us out. First time ever.”

The Cattlewomen got redemption this year with the People’s Choice award.

Mostly local restaurants participated in the cook-off.

Next to the Cattlewomen, Kyle Love and Matt Molenar represented Steamboat Smokehouse.

Molenar’s red chili with brisket received top honors in the red category.

“So far, his red is the best,” Steamboat resident Mike McGinty said.

Love’s red chili was equally spicy and made with a classic French stock, pork bones, pork butts, green chilis and “Kyle’s special ingredient.”

“I’ve developed this over many years,” Love said.

A few stands down, Team CW3 was composed of Paige Ohlenburg and Carl Webb, and was not associated with a restaurant.

Webb served up his red chili made with wild boar from Texas and Colorado elk, and Ohlenburg’s cornbread was a hit.

“Her cornbread is what’s going to be famous,” Webb said. “My chili is just…”

Ohlenburg’s cornbread won top honors.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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