Come one, come all, come hungry to the 15th annual North Routt Chili Cook-Off
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – In May there’s an event that seems to lure families out of hibernation and it involves chili — green chili, red chili, some loaded with meat and others with beans, veggies, and maybe even a secret ingredient from an old family recipe.
“The winters can be long up here, and sometimes, it feels like we don’t see our neighbors for months,” Routt County Chili Cook-Off organizer Kerri Ann Crocker said.
The annual event, which serves as a benefit for the North Routt Preschool and the North Routt Fireworks Fund, returns Saturday.
“At the chili cook-off we all get together to celebrate the coming summer,” Crocker said.
The premise is simple: go early and bring an appetite.
The cook-off runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse. Tasting begins at 2 p.m., and people’s choice judging will be at 4 p.m.
Those interested in competing against 50 or so others, can do so in four categories: red chili, green chili, dessert and other, which could be anything from soups, casseroles, corn bread or stuffed jalapeno peppers. Entries will be accepted until 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $10 to enter.
Participants should plan to drop off six or more quarts of chili before 1:30 p.m. and they should also bring crockpots, power cords and ladles.
For those wanting to sample the savory entries, the cost is $15 for adults and free for children 7 and younger. Families are $45. There also will be live music starting at 6:30 p.m.
This week the North Routt Preschool students have started making a chili piñata, which will also be offered as an activity for kids at 4 p.m.
“One thing that I always enjoy tasting are the unique game chili recipes,” Crocker said. “Who knew that bear could taste so good?”
As far as tastings go, Crocker advised to, “Start at one end and work your way down the table. Clean your palate with a spoonful of sour cream.”
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