Annual Snowdown Chili Cook-Off to heat up Saturday

Bloomfield, N.M., resident Mason Warren entered his green chili in the 2012 Snowdown Chili Cook-Off. This year’s contest will have the same categories – red and green – and prizes will be awarded in each. Enlarge photo

Durango Herald file photo

Bloomfield, N.M., resident Mason Warren entered his green chili in the 2012 Snowdown Chili Cook-Off. This year’s contest will have the same categories – red and green – and prizes will be awarded in each.

Cooks – plug in your Crock- Pot. The annual Snowdown Chili Cook-Off will be held Saturday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

Each year people cook their favorite chili – of all varieties – to be judged by discerning palates. The only stipulation is that you need to enter in one of two categories: red or green.

Besides vying for a first, second or third place, the cook-off will offer free beer and other drinks for cooks. Organizers also will serve a biscuit-and-gravy breakfast at 9 a.m. for the cooks.

Event organizer Greg Yucha encourages entrants to bring props or costumes.

Last year, the cook-off raised $4,000 for Snowdown. The money is used to help defray costs for the annual winter celebration. Also last year, 75 gallons of chili were served in less than two hours.

Here are specifics about this year’s cook-off:

Chili must be cooked at the Fairgrounds. Cooking will begin at 7 a.m. Green chili must be ready for judging at 11 a.m. Red chili must be ready at 11:30 a.m. Chili will be served to event-goers from noon to 2 p.m.

There is no entry fee, but you must provide your own chili fixings.

The public must pay 50 cents for samples.

You must provide your own stove, Crock-Pot or fryer.

The event is open to restaurants and to home cooks.

More than $2,000 in cash and prizes will be given. There will be first-, second- and third-place awards given in each category. First-place winner will receive $250. There will be a judge’s choice and a people’s choice.

For more information, call Yucha at 382-0788.

In this image taken on January 7, 2013, sweet heat bacon guacamole, left, chipotle corn guacamole, top, shrimp and mango guacamole, right, and roasted fresh salsa guacamole, front center, are shown served in bowls in Concord, N.H.  (AP Photo/Matthew Mead) Enlarge photo

In this image taken on January 7, 2013, sweet heat bacon guacamole, left, chipotle corn guacamole, top, shrimp and mango guacamole, right, and roasted fresh salsa guacamole, front center, are shown served in bowls in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)