Fourteen teams of chili cooks and community members took part in the annual Chilifest and raised nearly $600 for local food bank Hopelink on Thursday night at the Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home in Bothell.
The event also raised 124 pounds of food for the food bank, which will provide about 357 meals. Both the total money and food raised during the event broke past year’s marks.
Inside the ninth annual event, chefs were busy preparing their tables, stacking cups and laying out cornbread, crackers and kettle corn.
“Food is kind of part of our culture,” said Sebastian Falcon, 26, as he manned the Evergreen Church booth. “It’s all about community.”
Exotic chili names ranging from Chocolate Chili and Nothing Bundt to Chili for Life and Thunder Down Under found their way into tiny paper cups as dozens of connoisseurs milled around the room.
“I only tried one so far,” said Julias Kazen. “Looks like a great event, I can’t wait to taste all the chili.”
Dale Amundsen has been organizing the event for nine years and still as enthusiastic about it as ever.
“It’s jus a lot of fun,” he said.
While the event was free, participants who wanted to vote on the People’s Choice chili had to buy a vote for one dollar. They picked the Chocolate Chili by SBL Rentals.
The coveted Burnt Spoon award, given to the best hot chili, was awarded to Hugg and Associates, named the Flamethrower.