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Chili Challenge 2013

St. Johns “fashionistas” Zetah (Jane Hughes), left, and Vetah (Joyce Juusola) were providing free fashion advice along with their Minnesota Nice chili at Wednesday’s Hubbard County Food Shelf fundraiser. They were certain ‘dat poor man with da skunk hat had nightmares,’ Vetah said of neighboring chef Bob Berdahl, who arrived with his wild game chili. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

BY JEAN RUZICKA The fourth annual Chili Challenge – raising funds while having fun – once again proved a success, the Hubbard County Food Shelf receiving approximately $7,000 from the event. Eighteen chefs brought in pots of chili with Theora Goodrich of Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations earning the award for tops in donations with $1,530. John Nicklawsky’s Doctor’s Orders was a close second, his efforts earning $1,321 for the food shelf. Vetah and Zetah (Joyce Juusola and Jane Hughes) of St. Johns Lutheran claimed the People’s Choice Award for their pot of Minnesota Nice. The duo offered reasons to vote for their chili: “It won’t singe your Chihuahua; It is a great complement to the beaver platter; Moose juice enhances the flavor; It’s a favorite of the Howling Coyote Community Choir; It’s the best chili recipe from the hotdish Lutheran cookbook; It keeps the sled dogs moving; And we’re pretty sure it cures warts.” Jo Tuomisto of Park Rapids was the winner of Bob Landrigan’s hand-carved loon. And Jan Johnson of Nevis claimed the Crazy Quilters’ admirable work. The raffles, which included a silent auction of carved works by Byron Knapp and Dennis Ernst, raised more than $1,000 for the food shelf. Thanks to all who cooked and consumed. A great time was had by all!