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Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off hottest event of the year

Originally Published: April 8, 2019 10 p.m.

The Rotary Club of Sedona is excited to announce its 9th annual Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off, to be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. The event is held in conjunction with the cultural Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village’s Cinco de Mayo Fiesta weekend.

Top chefs from area restaurants and community leaders are busy perfecting their special chili recipes, which can be sampled at festive booths in Tlaquepaque’s Calle de Independencia.

Come and cheer on your favorite “hot” chili cook-off restaurants who will vie for the 2019 Restaurant Chili Championship including: Artist Kitchen, Creekside American Bistro, Orchards at Oak Creek Canyon, Steakhouse 89, Tamaliza, Vino di Sedona and more.

Other awards include the Restaurant Judges’ Award and Peoples’ Choice Award plus cash prizes and trophies. In addition, competing for the community’s judge choice are Sedona’s Mayor Sandy Moriarty, Cottonwood’s Mayor Tim Elinski, Interim Fire Chief of the Sedona Fire District Jason Coil, and Clarkdale City Council Member Scott Buckley.

This year’s judges are: Linda Goldenstein of Goldenstein Gallery, Joe Rodgers, chef for Indian Gardens Café, and Jeff Smedstad, chef for Elote.

The event also features a silent auction, beer & wine garden, and kid’s activities. The silent auction will have items you can either buy it now or bid on including certificates for area restaurants, lodging and spas, golfing, jewelry, artwork, and much more. Details about the Silent Auction and Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off are at www.sedonarotary.org/page/the-great-sedona-chili-cook-off. Proceeds of this year’s event to benefit club activities that aid our youth such as the high school Youth Leadership Training Camp, Verde Valley Imagination Library (monthly books sent to Verde Valley children, from birth to 5 years old to prepare them for school), college scholarships, and a youth foreign exchange program.

Also benefiting from the proceeds are local and international programs such as St. Andrew’s community suppers, Highway 89A clean-up, Human Library Project, Kindness Conversations and Rotary International’s work on the eradication of polio.

Admission to the Chili Cook-Off is $15. Children under 12 are free.

Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village is located at 336 State Route 179, Sedona.

The Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off was founded by Rotarians Rod Abbott and Ron Larson. The Rotary Club of Sedona lost both active members in 2015. From the Cook-Off’s beginning, Rod and Ron had been the dynamic duo recruiting restaurants to participate and obtaining sponsors. Now in its 9th year, the Cook-Off is the hottest event of the year, and received the Kudos Readers’ Choice Award for Best Annual Local Event in the Verde Valley.