The 2011 Chili Cook- Off

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some pieces of chili in a basket

I had been crossing my fingers, waiting to see if I received an invite to judge the Downtown Chili’s Association annual Chili Cook-Off. I had judged it last year and simply had the best time ever.

Once I got over my nervousness about being in front of a large crowd, meeting new people and finding my way around downtown.

This year? HAH! I was a pro. I was ready. I knew where to go, what to do and at least one person who was going to be a judge again with me. No prob, Bob, I had this covered.

Once again, teams cooked up their best chili, hoping to win the coveted title of Ultimate Chili.

We had some Moose chili from these very spirited, proud Canucks.


group photo of team during the chili cook off

Some incredible team spirit and ingenuity from the Four Points.

a group of five from the Four Points team

Some good times from CKUA Radio.

group of for from the CKUA Radio team

And chili…

group of four from Meals on Wheels, wearing cowboy hats

…upon chili…

group of three from 4th and vine team, wearing red neck scarfs


…upon chili! These guys (not pictured) n’ dolls won the Best Booth Prize.

group of two ladies from Edmonton Symphony, wearing red dresses

L2 took home The Ultimate Chili this year after coming in second place last year. It was the People’s Choice as well, so there was no doubt in anyone’s mind this year that they indeed had the Ultimate Chili. Chef Shane Chartrand isn’t pictured here but I have nagged him for the recipe to the chili. If I managed to weasel it out of him I will most definitely share it. It won me over with the wonderful chick peas in it, something I use in mine all the time but rarely see in chili’s  outside my own kitchen.


group of three from the L2 Grill team, all wearing white chef uniforms

The Hardware Grill placed second in the contest. And if you’re wondering how I managed to get a picture of myself, while taking the picture, you’ll probably realize that I couldn’t have. This photo was posted on CBC Edmonton’s Facebook page. There are more pictures there for you to view. Please ignore any that have me in them. Ungh. Don’t people realize the blogger is the one who’s supposed to take the pictures, not be in them?


awarding the winners with judges at the back

The handsome gents from the Westin. Their turkey chili took third place and it was fabulous.


two handsome gents wearing their white chef uniform

My fellow judges were a riot this year and a great time was had by all.

I met Richard Helm, editor of Food and Books for the Edmonton Journal.

man with eye glasses and white hair, sitting while holding his chin


And Mark Suits , who has the best job EVER. Not only is he the Assistant Digital Editor for The Edmonton Journal but he blogs about all things beer.

I want his job. Well, sorta. I just want to taste all the beer but not actually have to write about it or work or anything like that. Maybe I’ll just start drinking more beer at home.

It’s the Canadian thing to do.

man with eye glasses on, wearing red dress shirt


And I met Kelsey Danyluk, who opened up TZin Wine and Tapas here in Edmonton. I am going to have to stop by and let her educate me about wine one night.

And Stanley Townsend, the chair of culinary arts at NAIT.  Besides knowing him from last year, he was the chef for my mushroom cooking class that I took at NAIT this fall.  If you have a chance, I highly suggest you take that class. I am considering the spring class as it will be new recipes to suit the new season of mushrooms.


group photo of male chef in his white uniform in the middle of two ladies


All in all it was one fabulous time and already I am hoping to attend next year!

Happy Monday everyone!


The Kinda Chili’d Out Magpie


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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Anne F says

    This is one of my favorite downtown events! Love the peppers picture, so bright and cheery!

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