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Chili team counting on group effort to get the trophy.
Laker Weekly | File 2012
Visitors pack the deck at Bridgewater Plaza for the 2012 SML Fall Chili and Craft Festival.
Friday, November 1, 2013
The Young Professionals of Smith Mountain Lake are going all out for the 11th annual Smith Mountain Lake Fall Chili and Craft Festival Saturday at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta.
Young Professionals treasurer Alex Clark said his parents, Jim and Liz Clark of Woolwine, will help YP, an affiliate of the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce, by making the organization’s chili for the competition.
But don’t ask him what’s in it because his father won’t let him get involved.
“He’s very protective about his chili recipe,” Clark said.
Moore’s at Home, which offers heating, air and plumbing services for lake residents, is sponsoring the YP booth and will pay for the ingredients, including the propane to cook 30 gallons of chili on-site.
“When you think about it, that’s an awful lot of chili, and they helped pay for all that,” he said.
Clark said his parents recently competed in several chili competitions, including one in Winchester and a state competition as the team Chili Banditos.
Last year, at SML’s chili festival, the husband-wife cooking team took second place, and the year before, won the judge’s pick.
“This year, they’re really going for the people’s choice,” he said.
The elder Clarks will don their monogrammed aprons and serve up “Curse of the Caribbean/Rambo’s Revenge,” named for Rambo, their 110-pound lab that, according to Jim Clark, loves the chili. It’s taken 30 years to get the recipe perfected, he added.
The Chili Banditos are one of more than a dozen cooking teams ready to show off their chili concoctions at the event that typically draws more than 2,000 festivalgoers for a day of perusing craft booths and tasting chili. Expect to see teams from Carilion, Kroger, Sunken City Brewing Company and Mango’s, among others, competing in the chili cook-off.
Festivalgoers and judges will vote on their favorites. Trophies will be awarded for Best Chili, People’s Choice and Showmanship.
Visitors can park for free at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Moneta and take a shuttle to and from the festival courtesy of Tim and Tara Wall of TNT Auto Body Repair.
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