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Chili Cook Off in Pahrump brings in $5k

The 8th Annual Silver State Chili Cook Off took over Petrack Park March 14 and 15, drawing people from all walks of life for two days of chili tasting and community fun, with all of the proceeds earmarked for one of the Pahrump Valley’s well-known nonprofit organizations, the Nevada Outreach Training Organization and its No to Abuse program.

To the relief of many involved, the chili cook-off took place just before the concerns surrounding COVID-19 reached a fever pitch in Nevada and while the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, as well as some gloomy weather, undoubtedly had an effect on attendance, it did not stop many residents and visitors from heading out to enjoy the event.

The Silver State Chili Cook-off has become a mainstay in Pahrump, an annual event that regularly attracts thousands of patrons and rakes in plenty of cash. Event organizer Ron Frazier said though the event certainly felt some impact from the coronavirus, the cook-off still saw a crowd of roughly 1,500 and somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 tastings sold, managing to bring in approximately $5,000, after expenses, to support No to Abuse.

Frazier took the time to shine the spotlight on one of the major organizers for the event, this year’s chili cook-off chair, Kelli Sater. “I would like to let everyone know that Kelli Sater did a very good job as this year’s chairman,” Frazier stated. “On Friday, we had to evaluate how to set up for the chili cook-off, as the park was too wet to have it on the grass. We came up with an alternative plan of having everything on the pavement and it worked!

“Although there were some real challenges with the rain on Friday and the coronavirus, overall, it was a successful event. Those who came had a good time and look forward to next year’s event,” Frazier concluded.

There were 32 teams participating in four different categories, including traditional red, chili verde, homestyle and vegetarian.

The competition was comprised of two separate cook-offs, the Silver State Chili Cook Off on Saturday, March 14 and the Nevada State Chili Cook-off on Sunday, March 15.

Winners for traditional red on Saturday were:

  • 1st – Irene Menchaca
  • 2nd – Ken Hooker
  • 3rd – Mike Stewart

Winners for chili verde on Saturday were:

  • 1st – Ken Hooker
  • 2nd – Mary Parker
  • 3rd – Jim Beaver

Winners for homestyle on Saturday were:

  • 1st – Jim Beaver
  • 2nd – Eddie Huffman
  • 3rd – Toni Groth

Winners for vegetarian on Saturday were:

  • 1st – Mark Haught
  • 2nd – Mark Groth
  • 3rd – Shelley Stauffer

People’s Choice winners on Saturday were:

• 1st – Frank Carbone

• Pahrump Senior Center

• Judge Wanker’s Drug Court

Sunday’s traditional red winners were:

  • 1st – Jim Beaver
  • 2nd – Clark McGee
  • 3rd – Armando Sanchez

Sunday’s chili verde winners were:

  • 1st – Armando Sanchez
  • 2nd – Chuck Harber
  • 3rd – Mark Haught

Sunday’s homestyle winners were:

  • 1st – Eddie Huffman
  • 2nd – Pam O’Sullivan
  • 3rd – Clark McGee

Sunday’s vegetarian winners were:

  • 1st – Mark Groth
  • 2nd – Shelley Stauffer
  • 3rd – Mark Haught

People’s Choice winners on both Saturday and Sunday were:

1st – Frank Carbone

Pahrump Senior Center

Judge Wanker’s Drug Court

Sponsors for the event included the town of Pahrump Tourism Department, Desert View Hospital, Spring Mountain Medical, Brian Strain at State Farm, Pro Media and Pahrump Life. Organizers also sent a shout-out of thanks to all the volunteers, the cook themselves, the Pahrump Valley Lions Club, the Pahrump Valley Rotary Club, Jimmy Martinez and his crew, the ladies from Nevada Outreach and No to Abuse, the vendors, the Kiwanis Club and the Key Club, the judges for the competition, Holiday Inn Express and Suites and Dean West for providing the entertainment.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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