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Feeling the heat

Dori Blodgett serves up chili at the Chili Cookoff. The Pilot/Bill Schlichting.
Those attending the 13th annual Chili Cookoff Sunday at the Port of Brookings not only felt the 83-degree heat of the day, but also the fire of a dozen chili entries.

According to Pat Silveria, owner of Slugs ’N’ Stone ’N’ Ice Cream Cones and event organizer, Sunday’s cookoff, at the Port of Brookings Harbor boardwalk, raised $1,001 for Oasis Shelter Home in Gold Beach.

The total included the $150 prize money, which was donated back to the shelter. Receiving the prizes chosen by the judges were Dori Blodgett (entry 72) for first, Sara Tierheimer (entry 68) for second and Mike Dollar (entry 105) for third place. Sam and Sherry Appleton (entry 27) received the People’s Choice Award.

Judges for this year’s contest were Leanne McCurley, Kevin Bane and Mac Mazzettia. The judges were seated inside Silveria’s ice cream shop and did not know whose entry they were tasting. The tasting cups only had a number. People Choice Award was chosen by those who paid $3 to sample the recipes.

The four winners were among the 12 cooks who entered this year’s contest. Unlike previous years where a last-minute plea was published in the Pilot, those who entered answered the call to present their recipes – some new, such as the one entered by Blodgett, and others entered in previous contests, such as the “Sweet and Nasty” chili entered by Steve Leach, last year’s winner.

Blodgett was ecstatic about her win. When Silveria announced she was the winner, she danced across the lot screaming, “I won, I won, I won!”

Blodgett has been a contestant for several years and has won People’s Choice, but this was the first year she received the Judges’ Choice Award. She described the win as a big honor because the chili was chosen in a blind taste test.

Perhaps the Appletons’ chili was by far the meatiest of the entries. Their recipe was loaded with shredded beef followed by a high content of beans.

Tierheimer entered her “Spankin’ Hot Chili,” which she described as “having a little bit of everything – it’s a secret recipe.”

Silveria said she spent 10 minutes on the phone coaxing Tierheimer to enter the contest, for which she received an award.

Dollar’s recipe, served by Stephanie Gardner, was a standard-fare chili.

Other recipes contained different varieties of beans to several kinds of meat. Two stews, presented by Carol Mallard and Sharon Fitzgerald, included venison – such as deer and elk – in the recipes.

Although the recipes entered were all entered by adults, several children participated in serving the chilies, including Addy Fitzgerald who served her mother’s chili, Macy Sanchez who served Leach’s recipe and Breezy Harvey, who helped Jodi Harvey by adding fresh-snipped basil to the sample.

Festivities opened with the Renegade Line Dancers presenting a show followed by The Book Dock Band providing musical entertainment during the two-hour event. Visitors were also treated to butterscotch candy from Mike Vest, the human statue.

According to the Oasis Shelter Home website, the organization provides emergency shelter for adult and child victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Oasis was founded as a result of a grassroots effort dedicated to establishing a haven for victims of family violence in Curry County.

The shelter, which has been housing victims since 1995, has 15 beds, two bathrooms, two laundry rooms and a playroom complete with toys and games and is the only emergency shelter between Coos Bay and Crescent City, Calif., the website says.

Oasis operates a toll free hotline and provides outreach services to victims and survivors, which includes children’s programs; peer support groups; educational classes; assistance with restraining orders, housing forms and other documents; distribution of food boxes and donated items; and transportation to court and other appointments.

For information, call Oasis at 541-247-7600 or 800-447-1167.

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