Two-time chili cook-off winners Kitimat RCMP were no match for Mariane Sandwald’s late husband Walt’s moose meat chili recipe cooked in his special chili pot.
A surprise win, Mariane’s batch of chili beat the RCMP, the fire fighters and District Council’s teams’ chili by 26 votes at the cook-off on March 25.
“When I was asked to make chili for the competition, I said I wouldn’t do it unless I could use moose meat,” said an elated Mariane.
She said Walt, who passed away three years ago, would be very proud of her.
“This is the first time I’ve cooked chili using his recipe and his pot,” added Mariane. “He would be very happy that I won using his recipe.”
She said the secret to cooking good chili is not to cook more than two and a half pounds of moose meat at a time. She started cooking the chili at 9:30 a.m the previous day, finishing all her batches by 2:30 that afternoon. So popular was the chili that by the time the Sentinel arrived, it was all gone, bar a few scrapings at the bottom of the pot.
Cook-off host Shari Burrows said nearly 80 people attended the cook-off, a record number.
“We will have to find a bigger venue next year,” said Shari.
The RCMP’s Sergeant Graham Morgan said team cook Leree Hadley felt the pressure this year.
“This was the closest vote. Last year we won by a landslide,” said Morgan. “We will have to up our game next year.”