It was all about the heat on a cool and breezy Saturday afternoon during the 13th-annual chili cookoff fundraiser sponsored by the Grand Central District Association on March 3.
The event ran from noon to 4 p.m. on the north and south sidewalks of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg along the 2400 and 2500 blocks.
Thirty unique contestants representing individuals and business entered the competition. The area’s business association uses the proceeds from the event to fund things like holiday streetlights, said Dale Osterwise, event chairperson.
A panel of judges evaluated all entries through a blind taste test, said Osterwise. The judges awarded four prizes as follows:
• Best chili by a business or nonprofit: Media Garage Group, Inc. for their Gassed-Up Chili;
• Best chili by an individual: Dave Kooi for his Red Hot Chili;
• Best chili by a restaurant: Community Café for their Winter Chili; and,
• Best vegetarian chili: SukhaLife Yoga Studio for their Chatarunga Chili.
Registered participants received voting tickets to select first, second and third place for the People’s Choice Award:
• First place: Gary Mayfield for his Chef G’s Traditional Texas Chili;
• Second place: Ice Cold Air for their Gator Chili; and,
• Third place: Your Neighborhood Realty for their 3 Ways to Heaven Chili.
“You are all winners in our eyes,” said the association’s Facebook page after the event.