For the record, if you want to compete in the annual Chili Cook Off contest in the Board of Realtors’ Pet Parade this Sunday (Sept, 30th), you’d better be prepared to put up or shut up.
For starters, it’s a $1,500 entry fee to cook up your chili fixins ON SITE and dish it out to hundreds of attendees and a select panel of judges. You can’t even pre-chop your veggies or soak your beans in advance, people. It’s like glamping when you just shove all your ingredients in Tupperware bowls and make the best of it over what could be an itinerant heat source.
And, for another … I’m one of the judges this year … and I happen to seek out every possible rendition of chili imaginable all the year long.
This is serious business.
Sure, there are many pet owners showing up for the pet parade with their outlandishly costumed dogs, cats, iguanas and ferets (who really don’t take to wearing hats very well). All very light and happy and comical. And, sure, the Board of Realtors is raising all this money for our animal-loving non-profits in town, including my beloved PMMC (seal and sea lion rescue), the Laguna Animal Shelter, Bluebell Cat Foundation and more . . BUT there are chili cook off contestants here that mean business … serious business, baby.
Coldwell Banker has gone home with the coveted trophy two years in a row. This year, they’re up against stiff competition again, AND a new People’s Choice award has been added, too.
As a judge, I have to remind you – NO NO NO bribery with new cars, jewels or loads of cash left on my front porch patio. I am impervious and ever-faithful to the integrity of the contest. Just sayin.’