Chillin' with chili
Annual cook-off now has cookies too


Larry Davis was the champion of the Chili Cook-Off on Sunday with his Sweet n' Lo creation Photos by Laurie Gordon

By Laurie Gordon
STILLWATER — Kim Williams, of Stillwater, puts a lot of time and effort into creating a spicy event. The Annual Chili Cook-Off, which she coordinates each year, has become a welcome winter season tradition, now complete with a bonfire, pumpkin pinata for the kids, the friendly rivalry chili competition and a cookie contest.
Sunday didn't disappoint as predicted rain never came in, and the event went off without a hitch.
“It's such a wonderful sense of community,” Williams said. “To see friends and neighbors coming together for this event is great and it's a lot of fun.”
The chili champion was Larry Davis who has taken the top trophy for two years in a row now. He's been cooking up his famous chili for over 20 years and, as did others at the cook off, he came to the competition complete with his own heating system.
"I learned to cook this recipe from a buddy in the Navy," Davis said. His championship recipe on Sunday was called Sweet n' Lo.
"I include four different types of meat and three to four different types of beans then I use the traditional spices and I have a secret ingredient that adds the sweetness so it isn't too much." He added, “I look forward to this event every year because it's a great chance to show off my chili and hang out with people from the community.”
Davis has been at chili competitions all over, including the big one at the Meadowlands.
The Williver family won the cookie competition with a pretty unique combination utilizing Halloween candy.
“We won the best cookie and the second best chili,” said Megan Williver. “We called the cookie recipe 'The Cookie Monster.'”
Williams said that this year's participation was down a little due to the weather forecast but that the event has been held for the past six year rain, snow or shine as she recalled the year they held the Cook-Off in the snow.
Maryanne Choma was there to sample and join in the festivities with her husband, Jack, and son, Jackson.
She said, “I love to see the community getting together to have fun, sample great food and enjoy each others' company.” Her husband added, “And it's the only chili competition that's dog friendly.”
The family pooch, Oliver, was on hand and was allowed a taste of one recipe that included hot dogs. He gave it a paws up.
“It's a great day out and everyone enjoys breathing some fresh air and sampling some great chili,” Williams said. “Each year we tweak something or add something and it's truly evolved into a super event people look forward to each year.”