Video: Kiwanis Chili Cook-Off
Brian Meier, of Hilton Head Island, stood under a rain-soaked tent on Saturday getting ready to cast his vote for best chili.
Despite a mid-morning downpour, Meier and hundreds of others decided to brave the rain and come out for the Kiwanis Club's 31st Annual Chili Cookoff held on the grounds of the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn.
"Katie's Catering did a fantastic job and so did Bomboras," Meier said after casting his vote.
It was all part of the fun at the popular competition, which works to raise money for a variety of children's charities on the island.
Meier, who had attended five previous cookoffs, said he considered himself to be somewhat of a chili aficionado.
"I need to get in on the judging," he said.
With 18 participants -- including about a half dozen "amateur cooks" -- competition was fierce for this year's event.
"There's definitely bragging rights," said Kiwanis Club member and past president Carolyn Adams.
The cookoff, which has brought in as much as $20,000 in years past, usually attracts a variety of participants, who are then classified into either professional or amateur categories, Adams said.
From restaurants and catering companies to organizations and civic clubs, all were trying their hand at chili.
"And everyone has a different idea of what it is."
Across the field, Bryan Scharver, a firefighter and member of the Hilton Head Firefighters Association, was handing out samples of his group's two popular recipes: "Slow Burn" and "Sweet Revenge."
Scharver said the association enjoyed the friendly competition and looked forward to the event every year.
And how did he think they did?
"We did awesome," he said.
And the award goes to ...
A blind judging was held for a professional category and an amateur category at the Kiwanis Club's 31st Annual Chili Cookoff.
Awards, in order of place, for the professional category went to:
1. San Miguels
3. Bullies BBQ
Awards for the amateur category went to:
1. Boys and Girls Club
2. Hilton Head Firefighters
Did the people agree?
The popular vote for the professional category went to:
1. Omni Hotel
2. Katie's Catering
3. One Hot Mama's
The popular vote for the amateur category went to:
1. Hilton Head Firefighters
2. Boys and Girls Club
Last but not least, Bomboras Grille won the competition's Showmanship Award, given to the competitor with the best booth decorations.
Follow reporter Mindy Lucas at twitter.com/MindyatIPBG.
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