Chili Cook Off Jackson MI 2014

We had a blast competing in this years annual Jackson Michigan Chili Cook Off.  The snow and cold could not keep the crowd away.  Congratulations to all the winners below! 

Suomala and teammates Wendy Baldwin and Brenda Lachappel have won the people’s choice category three years in a row. “It’s pretty much the same recipe, but we tweak it a little every year,” said Suomala. One thing that makes her chili unique is that all the meat is smoked before going into the pot. “That really adds to the broth,” she said. This year’s judges were Jackson Coffee Company owner Brian Surgener; Aloha Travel owner Tim Stonel and Bob Callison, Data Center Manager at Consumers Energy. Visitors to the event also were able to vote on their favorite chilis for the people’s choice awards. Spring Arbor University seniors Morris Hutchins, 21, and Cameron Davis, 22, enjoyed the combinations of sweet and spicy, as well as the boldness in the chilis they sampled. Paul and Darcy Bowen sampled about 10 cups. “I like really hot chili,” Paul Bowen said. “Heat with a lot of cumin and a lot of chili powder.” Darcy Bowen said her favorite was the Fireball Chili. Shannon Hennessy, of K105.3 has been running the cook-off since the beginning, and said this year went very well. The event has been popular, drawing a large crowd every year, and Hennessy attributes that to the fact that it has something for everyone. “It’s an event for the entire family,” she said. “Everyone can come. A lot of events in the area are just for kids or just for adults. This is different; there’s something for everyone to do.”

Read the full Chili Cook Off Mlive article by Ricky Olmos  Here.

2014 Jackson Michigan Chili Cook Off Winners:  

People’s Choice 

  • First Place – Lori Suomala
  • Second Place – Swift Catering
  • Third Place – Jackson Citizen Patriot

Media Division

  • First Place – Jackson Magazine
  • Second Place – K105.3
  • Third Place – JTV

Professional Division

  • First Place – Randy’s Barbecue
  • Second Place – The Beef Barn
  • Third Place – Concord Cafe
Salsa Division Judged

  • First Place – Los Tres Amigos
  • Second Place – Vandercook Lake Lions Club
  • Third Place – The Crazy Cowboy

People’s Choice Salsa

  • First Place – Vandercook Lions Club
  • Second Place – The Crazy Cowboy
  • Third Place – RX Optical

Non-Professional Chili Division

  • First Place – CP Federal Credit Union
  • Second Place – Resale Depot
  • Third Place – Vandercook Lake Lions Club

Best Decorated

  • Lori Suomala