Jake Cullins and Ginger Schmitz of Jack and Jill Catering were judged on two fronts, having also entered the national Tolbert contest with their basic meat and gravy chili, stirred with a custom-made, flavor enhancing hickory paddle.
The Cathlamet Yacht Club was dressed for sailing and advertising a spicy stew, the Zingy Dinghy Chili. Richard Erickson brought his John Wayne Chisum Chili to the cookoff for another year, hoping for a win. When asked what he did different this year, he pointed to an empty bottle of tequila.
The Drop Anchory Brewery team headed by Dr. Doug Martin was having a grand time, the beer being a not so secret ingredient. Mike Gunnip, a chili maker with local ties, came from out of state to share his secret recipe for Cigar Butt Chili. There may have been tobacco in it, but that he wouldn’t share.
Next to him was the team for the ominously named Widowmaker chili. The team was comprised of Gunnip’s nephew, Ryan, a local, and his Texan friend, Chris Holmes. Holmes was excited to share his grandmother’s recipe for chili. “We have to win,” Holmes said.
There had been so much trash talk between the Widowmaker team and Mike Gunnip during the event that they needed to save face.
There was a rubber ducky race, a cow plop contest and music to entertain the crowd.
Friends from Woodburn and Bay City, camping at Vista Park for the holiday weekend, tried to wait patiently in the heat for the rubber duck event. “We’re going to use our winnings at the Oasis,” one exclaimed.
Winners for the chili cook-off and the games were announced Wednesday as The Eagle went to press. They are:
Tolbert Sanctioned Division – John Wayne Chisim Chili, cooks – Richard Erickson and Dana Speer
Home style Chili: #1 Texas Chili Widow maker, cooks – Chris Holmes and Tim Gunnip. #2 Favorite Theme, Zingy Dingy by Cathlamet Yacht Club, Pam and Gary Emery.#3 Gundowns Cigar Butt Chili, cook – Scott Gunnip.