Chili slingers had more than a few taste tricks up their sleeves at the Westerner Days annual cook off.
“Our secret to a good chili is start it early so it can sit and the spices can simmer,” said Tanis Woodfin, of T’s Bakery Cafe.
“The ingredients are so important and our secret ingredient is pineapple,” said Woodfin.
“We put that in all our chili all the time. People kind of wonder what’s the little sweetness behind it — that’s what it is.”
London Drugs’ employee Carol Thomas said they wanted to add a little patriotic flair to this year’s recipe.
“We’re doing a Canada 150 event obviously,” she said, as a Canadian flag flapped beside her. “So we have bacon and maple kiss candies.”
The Big 105 and 106.7 The Drive Chili Cook Off attracted 14 teams this year and a big crowd turned up at the London Drugs parking lot to chow down. The event is raising money for the Kidney Foundation.
The event ran from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and, for most of the time, a long line of hungry customers waiting to get their chili tickets snaked around the tables.
Byul Hutchinson and her team brought the heat.
Ghost pepper put their fireworks into their recipe, which also included Guinness as a secret ingredient.
“We’ve been hearing we’re the hottest chili here,” said Hutchinson, who works for the City of Red Deer’s water treatment plant.
Sisters Kathie Barrios and Tina Howard, who own BP Computers together, said their recipe relied on “lots of love.
“It’s our mom’s recipe,” said Howard.
“It’s a family recipe. It’s been in our family a long time,” said Barrios.
A touch of vinegar is the secret to its unique taste, said the sisters.
“That’s my mom’s touch.
“It’s subtle. Nothing weird,” Barrios added with a laugh.
The Chili Cook Off is just one of a line of off-site events taking place during Westerner Days.
Western RV Country’s Seventh annual Pancake Breakfast is set for 7-10 a.m. on Friday at 65 Burnt Park Drive. Donations are going to Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta.
Also on Friday, is the Red Deer Airport Boot Scootin’ BBQ fro 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 3801 Airport Drive in Springbrook. The cost is a donation to the Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre.
On Saturday, the KMS Tools and Equipment Summer Sizzle runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 53 Burnt Park Drive. Bring a donation for the Red Deer Food Bank.