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Treat your taste buds to Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Originally Published: April 22, 2017 12:29 p.m.

The Rotary Club of Sedona announces the seventh annual Great Sedona Chili Cook-off on Saturday, May 6 at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village.

This fun event is a part of the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta weekend. Top chefs from Sedona restaurants are busy perfecting their special chili recipes, which can be sampled at festive booths in Tlaquepaque’s Calle de Independencia. The mayors of Sedona and Cottonwood, the Fire Chief of Sedona and Chefs from Verde Valley School are also fired up for their annual competition.

Come and cheer for your favorite “hot” chili cook-off restaurants: El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano, Café Paleo Brio, Garlands Oak Creek Lodge, Hideaway House, HP Café, Mesa Grill, Tamalisa Market, and Whole Foods, who will vie for the 2017 Restaurant Chili Championship. There are also a number of other awards including the Restaurant Judges’ Award and Peoples’ Choice Award plus cash prizes and trophies.

Sedona Mayor Sandy Moriarty and Cottonwood Mayor Tim Elinski are perfecting their own chili recipes. Michael Briggs and Mike Speilman, from Verde Valley School, and Kris Kazian, Chief of the Sedona Fire District, are also preparing to challenge the mayors. These community leaders will compete for the Municipal Judges’ Award. Prize money awarded to the winners will be donated to a charity of the winner’s choice. All competitors will also compete for the Best Booth Décor Award.

A panel of three judges, Jeff Smedstad, owner/Executive Chef of Elote, Sam Williams, chef of Garland’s Indian Café & Market, and Linda Goldenstein, owner of Goldenstein Gallery, will determine this year’s winners.

Proceeds collected from the Chili Cook-off are used to fund charitable Rotary programs and activities. The primary local charity benefiting from this event is the Verde Valley Imagination Library, which provides a free monthly age-appropriate book to approximately 1,200 children, ages 0 to 5.

Proceeds also support local scholarships and various international programs such as Rotary International’s signature project, END POLIO NOW, whose goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.

Please put Saturday, May 6 on your calendars now! The entrance fee is $15 with no charge for children under twelve. There is a $5 discount on event admission for parking at the Church of the Red Rocks.

Major sponsors for the Great Sedona Chili Cook-off include David H. Bill, DDS, Sedona Dental Arts, Goldenstein Gallery, University of Sedona, John & Veronika Crawford, Roy Grimm, Paul & Mara Majane, David & Isabel Simmer, John & Andrea Terhune.

For more information and a sneak peek at silent auction items, go to: http://www.sedonarotary.org/Page/the-great-sedona-chili-cook-off.