First Maxwelltown Chili Cookoff a success

MANISTEE — The community turned out on Saturday for the first-ever Maxwelltown Chili Cookoff, an event that organizers called a success.

Chili was offered at six locations — Stu’s Pub, Painted Lady Saloon, Hi-Way Inn, Two Slices, Blue Waters Cafe and 522 Pub & Grill.

“We’ve had a great turnout; I’m actually shocked,” said Michelle Kamper, owner of Blue Water Cafe. “It’s been great. The community’s really come out.”

Within the first hour and a half, Kamper estimated that the restaurant had served chili to about 55 people. Blue Waters offered a Southwestern chili as well as its traditional Blue Waters chili.

Around the corner on Kosciusko Street, Cecelia Van Alstine was also happy with the way the event was going.

“I think it’s a really good idea; I like that we’re brining people down here,” she said. “For me, I’m finding people saying, ‘We didn’t know you were here.’ It’s benefitting all of us in that way. It’s just fun. I think we’re going to do some (more) stuff this summer.”

Those tasting the chili were able to pick up scorecards at any of the six locations and rate the chili based on flavor, heat, smell, texture and overall impression.

The event was organized by Rusty Manke, owner of Hi-Way Inn, and Stu’s Pub co-owner Jason Coopshaw.

Manke estimated that more than a hundred people participated in tasting chili at different locations throughout the afternoon.

After the votes were tallied, Hi-Way Inn won bragging rights with its house chili as the first place winner of the Maxwelltown Chili Cookoff. Second place went to Two Slices and Painted Lady Saloon took third.

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Posted by Michelle Graves

Michelle is the managing editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3106 or mgraves@pioneergroup.com.

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