Washington State Chili Cookoff Sends Locals to Championships - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington State Chili Cookoff Sends West Richland Residents to Championships

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WEST RICHLAND, Wash. -- Two West Richland residents are heading to the Chili Cookoff World Championship in Palm Springs in October.

The Washington State Chili Cookoff sanctioned three categories over the weekend and is sending winners to the World Championship on October 11-13 in Palm Springs with the International Chili Society. All three 1st place winners are from Washington state.

To sanction a category, a minimum of 10 competitors must enter a category. Chili Red had 15 competitors, Chili Verde and Salsa each had 11 compete.

First place winners are: Chili Red; Lisa Beaver of West Richland, Chili Verde; Chris Beaver of West Richland and Salsa; Ron Bryan of Seattle.

Chris Beaver also placed 3rd in Chili Red.

Competitors included former World Champs; three in Red, one in Verde and one in Salsa. With seven states and around Washington state represented, competitors vied for top honors in Chili Red, Chili Verde and Salsa. Guest judges sampled in blind tastings. Head judge Skip Cooley and Scorekeeper Dione Cooley from Nevada oversaw the judging and scoring process.

Fonded 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 cash prizes and awards throughout the year.

Top-level winners compete for a total prize package of $55,000 at the Worldʼs Championship Chili Cookoff held each year in October. One million spectators a year participate in ICS events by cooking, tasting, judging, and having a good time.

Washington State Chili Cookoff selected four nonprofits/charities to support: Arthritis Foundation (Washington state); Meals on Wheels (Grays Harbor/Pacific Counties); Copalis Beach Copalis Community Church Summer Lunch program and the Pacific Beach Elementary Emergency Clothing Fund. Phyllis Shaughnessy of the North Beach lunch program said she was "shocked" they received over $237 in donations and "many people were interested in the program."

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