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2016 Judges Panel Selected for Sedona Chili Cook Off

Rotary Chili Cook-Off trophy

Rotary Chili Cook-Off trophy

Sedona AZ (March 27, 2016) – May 7 is the date! Rotary Club of Sedona is presenting the Sixth Annual Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village as part of its Cinco de Mayo Fiesta weekend.

The 2016 Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off offers the most diverse and talented group of competitors yet. Two cities, two Fire Districts, and nine of the Sedona areas finest restaurants are working to make this the greatest chili event ever. Three widely recognized chili judges have agreed to serve in the challenging task of selecting the restaurant with the best chili and, as always, discerning cook-off visitors will crown their favorite with a People’s Choice Award.

This year’s competing restaurants include L’Auberge, 89 Agave, Vino de Sedona, Hideaway House, Timo, Paleo Brio, Verde Brewing, The Hudson, and Garlands. All are fearless in their willingness to go spoon to spoon while competing for best of chili!

Kris Kazian, Sedona Fire District Fire Chief, and Terry Keller, Camp Verde/Montezuma Rimrock Fire Chief, and their crews will face off as Keller’s Montezuma’s Delight challenges the 2015 Chili Champion Kazian’s Hot and Dangerous in the 2016 Fire Chiefs Challenge. Both organizations are busy fine tuning recipes as they prepare to go hose to hose in this year’s competition. The Fire Chiefs Challenge winner will be determined by popular vote of the public attending the event. The winning Fire District will receive a chili wall plaque proclaiming it the region’s Best Chili Fire District and a cash prize to go the charity of its Chief’s choice. In addition, the Districts will be eligible for Best Decorated Booth in the event.

To select the winning restaurant, this year’s panel of judges include Robert McGrath, Chris Bavasi and Tony Inglese. Robert McGrath is host of Arizona PBS’ popular restaurant review series Check, Please! Arizona and winner of the prestigious James Beard’s “Best Chef in America: Southwest.” Chris Bavasi is a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service and Executive Director of the Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation and winner of Arizona Board of Regents Outstanding Service to Higher Education Award. Tony Inglese, who with his wife is a member of the International Chili Society (ICS), qualified to cook in the World Championships and has now judged five WC events.

rotary chiliPlan on attending this year’s Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off on May 7 from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The entrance fee is $15 with no charge for children under the age of twelve. Beer and wine are available, as well as, great entertainment throughout the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, Portal Lane and SR 179, Sedona, Arizona.

Each year the proceeds collected from the Chili Cook Off are used to fund Rotary charitable programs and activities. The primary local charity benefiting from the proceeds goes to the IMAGINATION LIBRARY which provides free books monthly to children ages 0 to 5 residing in the greater Sedona area. In addition, proceeds will continue to support scholarships and various international programs and the Rotary International’s signature project to eradicate polio worldwide, END POLIO NOW. As of 2016, polio has been eradicated in all countries except Afghanistan and Pakistan.

sedona arizona city 89a highway touristsWalking, biking, carpooling and public transportation are encouraged during this event. If you are headed into Sedona from out of town, plan your commute accordingly as Sedona traffic is slow and busy at this time of year. Don’t rush. Gawk at the red rocks. There will be plenty of chili for all when you arrive safely.

If you cannot attend and would like to support the Rotary Club’s End Polio Now and other programs, please check your local listings and or visit SedonaRotary.org.

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1 Comment

  1. Fire District Fans says:

    Be there to help make this a chili today hot tamale success. High 5s to the best fire guys & Rotarians on the planet. FB this & get the word out.

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