Topaz Chili Cookoff coming in April |

Topaz Chili Cookoff coming in April

by Bob Cutts

Families from far and wide in Northern Nevada and California will be roundin’ up and heading to Topaz Lake on Saturday, April 21, for Sertoma’s ninth annual Topaz Chili Cookoff and Craft Fair.

As well as the 40 or more competing chefs expected to enter, and at least as many crafters and vendors offering everything from fashions to original jewelry to artworks, will operate booths throughout the day. Carson Valley Sertoma will serve up hot dogs and hamburgers, beer, sodas, water and wine. For $2, attendees may buy chili-tasting kits to do a little informal judging of their own.

The event begins at 10 a.m. at the Topaz Lodge and Casino and lasts into the early evening. The outdoor event will present the live music of Janet Drummond and Corkey and will be marked by drawings for 10 prize kits, worth at least $100 each, going on all afternoon.

There will be competitions for both regular chili and chile verde (green chili). Entries will be judged by a panel headed by Bill Brown, formerly with Channel 4 TV, and trophies will be awarded for both styles. The International Chili Society sanctions the event and the winner will advance to either World Championship Semifinals or the Nevada State Cookoff.

There will also be a contest, with prize money and a trophy, open to anyone for best salsa. A $10 entry fee is all that’s required, and salsa cooks will begin with a meeting at the site at 10:30 the same morning.

Other events open to the public will be the Miss Chili Pepper, Mr. Hot Sauce and the Shout ‘n’ Holler contests – the latter requiring no more for success than a cast-iron stomach and a pair of leather lungs.

Admission is free. Tickets for the drawings will be on sale from now through the day of the cookoff and winners need not be present. All proceeds go to charities and community programs supported by Carson Valley Sertoma, such as the City of Refuge, Camp Sundowner, China Spring, the DCSO Explorer Scouts, Carson Valley Community Food Closet, Boy and Girl Scouts and others.

For information, including how to enter any of the food contests or join the vendors, contact Fritz Rubins at 266-3468.