By BILL SCHLICHTING
For the first time since the inception of the annual Fourth of July chili cook-off at the port's boardwalk, the judges and the people agreed on the best chili.
Mac Mazzettia was the first-place winner of the Judges' Choice Award and the People's Choice Award. A clock was awarded to the first-place winner of the Judges' Choice award and to the People's Choice award. Because he won two clocks, he gave the second clock to Fran Keith, who was one vote behind him in the People's Choice contest.
He also won both $50 prizes, which he donated to the Oasis Women's Shelter, beneficiary of the event. This bought the donation total from the original $900 count to $950. Hot dog sales totaled $56, bringing the donation to the shelter above the $1,050 mark. The hot dogs were donated by Shop Smart.
Winning second place in the Judges' Choice was Carol Mallard, who served her Old Buffalo Breath Chili. She clarified that there was no buffalo meat in the recipe, it was a name she came up with. Mallard's chili was sponsored by the South Coast Chapter, American Council for the Blind. The second-place prize was $35.
Winning the third-place ribbon and $15 was Christina Stalcup, whose chili was sponsored by Fat Boys restaurant.
When the winners were announced, Nancy McClelland-Bane, representing the women's shelter, said the shelter depends on community support. About 60 percent of its funding comes from donations. The remainder comes from grants.
Not only does the Gold Beach shelter, which provides a safe haven for abused women and their children, need monetary donations, it also needs donations of time in the form of board members, McClelland-Bane said.
Information about volunteering to be on the board of directors or to donate cash or goods to the shelter may be obtained by calling (541) 247-7600 or (800) 447-1167.
A good variety of chilis were served by the 11 contestants. Judging was done by the people attending the event and a trio of judges who were served inside Slugs n Stones n Ice Cream Cones. Judges were Kevin Bane, Don Tilton and Michael S. Fox.
A good crowd attended the event, swallowing up most of the chili an hour into the two-hour event.
Different names were given to the recipes, including one served by Ralph Pratt. He called his recipe "Don't Walk Behind Me Chili." When asked what a person who is behind him must do, neighboring chef Jerry Van Trease quipped, "You hold your breath."
Despite the name, Pratt's chili was four votes behind Keith and five votes behind Mazzettia in the people's choice tally.
One of the more unusual chili recipes was a seafood chili served by Van Trease. This recipe had crab in the stew.
Other participants included Ann and Richard Kelly, Robert Leach, Rosemary Utesch, Nanette Steblay and Michael McPherson.
Spinoff beneficiaries to the event were the businesses around the boardwalk.
Many people sought something to drink or anything to cool down the tongue after so many samples of chili. People crowded inside Slugs and Stones for ice cream, kept Hungry Clam and Espresso Gallery busy and kept a few non-food merchants on their toes.
Vi and Len Burton, owners of Burtonique Gallery, were counting people walking through the door. The tally sheet indicated a customer every two minutes.
In addition, The Book Dock was crowded not only with customers from the chili cook-off, but from people wishing to have copies of the book "Dead Man's Chest" signed by author Roger L. Johnson.