Chili experts to vie for bragging rights in cookoff Saturday

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MOSES LAKE — Cooks will be putting their best chili forward Saturday, and the public can get a taste, at the first Chili Cookoff sponsored by the Grant County chapter of ABATE of Washington. Cooks fire up their stoves at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Central Washington Home Expo at the Grant County Fairgrounds. The public can start tasting chili at 1 p.m. The tasting fee is $5 and includes optional chili toppings, onions, cheese and others. There will be an award for the people’s choice.

Registration is still open for prospective chili cooks. “We are looking for more participants because we want a lot more chili,” said organizer Susan Carson.

Grant County regulations require that “everything has to be made there on site,” Carson said. Presoaked beans and precooked meats are prohibited, she said. Cooks must prepare a minimum of 2 gallons of chili.

Entry fee is $25 per cook. Entrants receive a chili cook-off apron.

The winner will receive a barbecue grill, donated by Lowe’s. The grill can use either propane or charcoal. The winner also receives a trophy and the title of “Best Chili in Grant County.” The second place cook will receive a $100 gift certificate to Walker’s Furniture and a trophy.

A raffle is scheduled as well, and includes prizes from Domino’s Pizza, Big 5 sporting goods and Valentus Slim Roast coffee as well as apparel from Lone Wolf Harley-Davidson and Rattlesnake Harley-Davidson, among other prizes.

Organizers of the Home Expo were willing to work with ABATE and the chili chefs, Carson said. “They welcomed us.”

The ABATE organization has chapters throughout the country and advocates for motorcycle riders, Carson said. And its members want to make sure people know the picture of motorcycle riders as sketchy at best, gang-bangers at worst, is incorrect. “We have a variety of people that are part of ABATE.” There are a number of different motorcycle clubs in Grant County, Carson said, doing many different charitable projects.

The ABATE organization weighs in on subjects of interest to motorcycle riders. “We want to give them a voice.” Members of state chapters advocate for legislation, promote safe riding habits and sponsor charitable projects.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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