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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Homestyle Chili Cookoff at Hometown Throwdown sanctioned in the first-ever Washington state Homestyle Chili competition Saturday, June 14, 2014 and has qualified a winner to the World Championship with International Chili Society. With 10 competitors, the number required to sanction the event, it is considered a regional homestyle cookoff.

First place winner is: Sue Simons, Roy. As first place winner, she will advance to compete at the world championship.

This is the third year for Homestyle division and the first time Washington state has hosted this level of competition. “Last year was my first year to coordinate the event and focus was on sanctioning Chili Red, Chili Verde and Salsa and we were successful,” Cynthia Stearns, Homestyle Chili Cookoff at Hometown Throwdown event producer said. “This year, we were ready to take on this competition and are excited we have been able to sanction this as well.”

Others winning include:

  • Second place:  Leonard Kellogg, Lynnwood
  • Third Place:  Ross Lunbeck, Lacey
  • Fourth Place:  Rescue Mission, Tacoma
  • Fifth Place:  Yuki Batten, Auburn

Also competing were:

  • Penny and Daryll Grant, Gig Harbor
  • Sally Jo Hagen, West Seattle
  • Destry Henderson, Tacoma
  • Larry and Betty Mayer, Lakebay
  • Stadium Thriftway, Tacoma.

This competition was designed for teams (one-four persons) allowing individuals, businesses and organizations to participate.

Races were tight including a three-way tie for fifth place with a tie-breaker to name the fifth-place winner.

Guest judges sampled in blind tastings.

Head judge Ken Peach of Spanaway and Scorekeeper Ann-Marie Anderson of Lynwood oversaw the judging and scoring process.

Guest judges were Judie Anderson, former restaurant chef and BBQ and chili judge, Austin and Cheryl Miller, KCBS BBQ judges, Nick Alan from 100.7 FM and Jim Flavin from Tacoma Rainiers. Health Department Liaison was Greg Frederick.

Also announced was People’s Choice, won by Rescue Mission of Tacoma. Prize was tickets to Tacoma Rainiers.

“Up in Smoke” won for Best Booth, created by Yuki Batten of Auburn. Prize was Chili Pepper necklace and earrings by Bernesa’s Beads of Pacific Beach.

Concert tickets to Blake Shelton, Toby Keith and Zac Brown Band (100.7 The Wolf), VIP package (Tacoma Rainiers) were awarded for those finishing first through third. (First place had prize package valued at nearly $300, second $115 and third $85.) Heritage Distilling Company and Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles were included prizes. Additionally, a signed book by local author Bernadette Pajer and Touchstone Crystal Jewelry (Elaine Thompson) were presented.

“We were presented the opportunity to coordinate this cookoff with 100.7 The Wolf Hometown Throwdown concert at Cheney Stadium. It was a natural to have this combination and bring an event of this caliber to Tacoma,” Stearns said.

Tasting kits included five tastes for $5. The chili was a huge hit with the crowd (over 3,000 in attendance) and was sold out in two hours.

Founded in 1967, the International Chili Society is an organization that sanctions nearly 200 chili cookoffs each year that are governed by ICS rules and regulations and a blind judging process. These events are worldwide and benefit charities or non-profit organizations. Local winners of ICS sanctioned cookoffs qualify to compete for prizes and awards throughout the year.

Over $90,000,000 has been donated to charities through the cookoffs. One million spectators a year participate in ICS events by cooking, tasting, judging, and having a good time.

“We would like to thank the businesses and people who supported this event including 100.7 The Wolf and Cheney Stadium. Also, a thank you to the competitors, our head judge and scorekeeper, plus our guest judges and others who assisted,” Stearns said.

For more information, please contact: Cynthia Stearns, 360.589.7751 or by email:

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