BY BILL SCHLICHTING
After first-time contestant Dori Blodgett walked away with the award for the Judges' Choice for best chili Sunday, her competitors may have been as green as the sauce in her stew with envy.
Blodgett, who is the children's librarian at Chetco Community Public Library, said she found a recipe in one of the books on the shelves and decided to go for it.
Unlike the other 12 varieties in the eighth-annual competition at the Port of Brookings Harbor boardwalk, Blodgett used a green chili sauce to add savor to the chunks of pork.
People familiar with Mexican cuisine may recognize her offering as "chili verde."
The judges Leanne McCurley, Kevin Bane, Don Tilton and Mac Mazzettia were secluded inside Slugs 'N Stones 'N Ice Creams Cones. However, 281 people on the boardwalk cast their ballots and gave 43 votes to Nanette McDaniels to win the People's Choice prize.
McDaniels entered what she called Grandma Nanette's Homemade Chili.
Maybe it was the people tasting chili in the warmth of a sunny Fourth of July, or the judges making their decisions in the shade of indoors making a difference, but this year the people and judges were not in any agreement.
Whereas Blodgett's entry No. 8 and McDaniels' entry 73 were both winners, the first and second runners-up were also as different as sun and shade.
The judges chose entry 16 by Marcelina Muro as their choice for first runner-up and Robert Leach's entry 42 as second runner-up.
The people, on the other hand, decided with 40 votes that Josh Moffit, entry 12, should receive first runner-up and Fran Keith, with 36 votes, should receive second runner-up.
First place in the Judges' Choice received a $50 prize, first runner-up received $35 and second runner-up was awarded $15. People's Choice first place received $50. First and second runners up received certificates.
If there was a third runner-up in the People's Choice award, it would have been granted to Blodgett, who won 32 votes.
Regardless of who won the taste test, the big winner of the day was Oasis women's shelter, benefactor of the event. According to Lea Sevey, manager, nearly $1,300 was raised, most likely the largest amount ever raised by the cookoffs.
The event also had the most entries of any previous chili cookoff, with 13 competitors.
In addition to the six who received awards were entry 30, Eugene "Chef Geno" Ferstman from Whaleshead Resort; entry 81, a second entry by Leach; entry 96, Bob Rose; entry 38, Norma Paulin and Yvette Mostachetti, two women who grew up in Athol, Mass, but never met until they moved to Brookings; No. 25, Christy Wagner; No. 67, Carol Mallard; and entry 51, John Paul Liddell, who called his serving space "Area 51," because he was serving "out-of-this-world chili," he said.
Entertainment was provided at the opening of the cookoff by Renegade Line Dancers. While the chili was served, the Oregon Old Time Fiddlers played a variety of songs.