Chili Cook-off welcomes fall in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Chili Cook-off welcomes fall in Dubuque

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Hundreds made their way to the 21st annual Tri-States Largest Chili Cook-Off in Dubuque Saturday. The Tri-States Largest Chili Cook-Off started 21 years ago as a much smaller event. Teri Connely is Event Coordinator for the Tri-States Largest Chili Cook-Off.

"It was started as a neighborhood event the first year 21 years ago," she said. "It started out as a neighborhood little cook-off and we were picked up by the Chili Association Society International. They turned it into a sanction competitive event."

This year, 45 different cooks tested their recipes against one another. People were able to go around and sample each chili and vote for their favorite. Dale Lonning has been a judge at the Cook-Off for the past five years. He says there are certain things he looks for when judging each chili.

"I like hot and spicy chili, that is probably the main thing that I like to judge, and the consistency." Lonning said.

Roylene Johnson and her husband made their way from Ottumwa for this year's competition.  They each make their own chili and compete against one another. They have been in chili competitions since 1988.

"My husband mixes the spices.  I just watch to make sure he puts the same amount in my jar as he does in his jar because you know he would like to win every now and then but I like to win too," Johnson said.

This year, all proceeds from the Tri-States Largest Chili Cook-Off will benefit Hills and Dales. Organizers of the event estimate a donation of $4,500 will be given to Hills and Dales through the Cook-off. 

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