Saturday, July 12,
1st Place Red Chili (Steve 2nd
1st Place Green Chili (Steve
Red Chili (Stephanie)
The largest and
oldest running event in western Nebraska promised to be
a great one when mild temperatures drew record crowds
for this 22nd annual event. Cooks from Nebraska,
Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, and Arizona gathered to cook
up some chili, and to “chow down” on some breakfast
burritos served up by Pepe’s Pod’s Great Pepper himself,
Kyle Haberman. This is a tradition that the cooks
Soon the fires were
lit and the smells of spices were drifting through the
air. Man and beast alike were putting their nose
skyward to see if they could recognize what the
wonderful aroma was and of course, where it was coming
The senses of the
crowd were further appeased when the music started and
showmanship got underway, further delighting the crowd
as it wandered through the cookoff, eager to start the
tasting process. There was electricity in the air as
the cooks made their way towards the stage, to turn in
their creations. The crowd knew that soon it would be
feasting on Red and Green Chili closely followed by Open
Bean and Open Beef categories.
Soon the crowd was
coursing through the cookoff site trying to find that
one chili that was unsurpassed. Everybody had their
favorite, but everyone agreed that all of the cooks were
With their bellies
full and their minds made up, the crowd settled down to
see if the judges agreed with them as to which chili was
And then it was time.
With over 1500 people looking on, the winners were
The State Beef Title
went to Shawn Misner of Granby, Colorado
The best Open Beans in
Nebraska were handed in by Steve Sorak of Scottsbluff
The Nebraska State
Green Chili championship for the 4th time,
went to Steve Lee of Longmont Colorado.
Scott Harris, of
Scottsbluff Nebraska, took the State Title in an
extremely close Showmanship contest.
And then it was time
for the big one. Who would walk away with the top
prize? One by one the cooks made their way to the stage
as their numbers were called. The crowd showing their
appreciation with thunderous roar of applause for all.
And then there were
only 3 places left.
went to Stephanie Lee of Longmont, Colorado – a first
time cook at this event and a first time qualifier for
Terlingua! Some say that her grin is now permanently
etched on her face.
for the second year in a row, went to Pepe’s Pod’s own
Great Pepper – Kyle Haberman, which also qualified him
And again, for the 2nd
year in a row, 1st Place went to Steve Lee of
Longmont, Colorado (and Stephanie’s dad)
All, the members of
Pepe's Pod should give themselves a pat on the back for
a job well done!