Western Round Up and Chili Cook-off heats up Lemon Grove

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What does a judge look for in a chili?

This was answered by judges at Lemon Grove’s 9th Annual Western Round-up and Chili Cook-off on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Heidi Bergener said it is, “Something that you will remember the next morning.”

What does a judge look for in a chili?

This was answered by judges at Lemon Grove’s 9th Annual Western Round-up and Chili Cook-off on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Heidi Bergener said it is, “Something that you will remember the next morning.”

Bergener was one of five judges at the 9th Annual Western Round Up and Chili Cook-Off held in Lemon Grove with Shotgun Tom Kelly making a special appearance. Lemon Grove City Councilmember, George Gastil, were also on hand to sample the entries.

Twelve “Chili Wranglers” teams competed using ingredients like hatch chilies from New Mexico to chicken used in Monica Ybarra of Millicent and Company Hair Salon in it’s first place chili Smoky White Chicken Chili. 

The local V.F.W. Post 1412 took second place and the Lemon Grove Kiwanis Club placed third. 

In the San Diego County Sheriff’s entry, James Wieboldt, crime prevention specialist, said, “If we served this in jail they’d keep coming back.”

The Heartland Fire Department and Lemon Grove firemen were on hand to put out any fires caused by the chili and with signs “flame thrower” displayed as needed. The firemen won People’s Choice Award from a firehouse favorite recipe.

Jan Davis, with the Soroptimist International of Lemon Grove Association, organized the event, anticipated more than 200 in attendance. She said a cookbook with the recipes might be compiled in the future that should prove to be a hot item among chili lovers.

Vegans were accommodated with an entry of pumpkin chili made by entrant Yuqi Wang.