Chili champs crowned

Hungry chili lovers chowed down during the final weekend of Vernon Winter Carnival.

And, after 475 votes, the winner of the 10th annual cook-off was crowned.

Nine eateries competed, and Station BBQ defended its title from last year, winning the people's choice award as well as team spirit award.

The Fig edged out the competition to win judge’s choice, however.

The event is growing in popularity, organizers said, noting two additional teams this year and that it sold out in just four days.

Local chefs pulled out all the stops in creating their own signature chili, and, in the case of newcomer Ratio restaurant, presented it in a mini doughnut.

The restaurants joined in the fun of the carnival’s pirate theme, greeting tasters with music and hearty pirate hails, such as the exuberant team at EATology. They were a close second for the team spirit award.

Besides the tasty goodness, half the proceeds give goodness back to the community, supporting the Vernon Community Dental Access Centre.

Something new this year was a focus on composting by the restaurants during the preparation of their meals, said Keli Westgate of Spa Hills Compost.

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