It will be ‘chili’ outsideInaugural Imagine Guild Chili Cook-Off to be held at Lake Mitchell Campground.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
There’s no guarantee it will be chilly in Mitchell March 30-31, but there will be plenty of chili.
The Imagine Guild Chili Cook-Off will be held that final weekend in March at the Lake Mitchell Campground.
Joe Mielke, the project coordinator at Klock Werks and a founding member of the Imagine Guild, came up with the idea.
“The goal is, one, to raise money to fight cystic fibrosis,” Mielke said. “Two, to host a fun community event while cooking and eating chili.”
He knows quite a bit about chili contests.
Mielke and Dan Cheeseman, competing as Team Klock Werks, took home the People’s Choice trophy at the 2011 Stampede Rodeo Chili Cook-off.
“It is a lot of fun, but it’s d—- hot that week every summer,” Mielke said. “Last year during the cook-off, as we were sweating over our fires in 100-plus-degree heat, we thought, ‘Why don’t we do this when temps are cooler?’
“As a kid I always enjoyed winter camping and I enjoy cooking as well,” he said. “So I wanted to put on a chili cook-off in the winter, and for a twist, require overnight camping the night before the cook-off as part of the cook-off.”
Mielke is seeking sponsorships.
“I know things are tight all around, but if anyone is interested in sponsoring the event at any level, please don’t hesitate to contact myself or anyone from The Imagine Guild,” he said.
The Imagine Guild events have always been focused on raising money to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, he said.
The Chili Cook-Off is just the first Imagine Guild event to be held in 2012. Memorial Day Weekend in Mitchell will mark a decade of the Memorial Day Weekend event.
Here are the rules for the event:
• Contestants must camp at Lake Mitchell Friday night before the cook-off.
• Tent camping is encouraged (use of a camper or RV will leave the contestant open to hazing, Mielke said).
• Cooking starts at 8 a.m. or earlier Saturday.
• Chili must be prepared fresh at the campsite over an open fire.
• Contestants must cook a minimum of 10 gallons of chili.
• Judging will start by 11 a.m. and it will be open to the public by noon. There will be a minimal fee for chili tasting and voting. All of that money goes to the CFF.
• There is a $25 registration fee for chili teams. A first-place trophy will be awarded and Mielke is working on other prizes and awards.
• The camping fee is $26.50 per campsite. The Lake Mitchell Campground, 2601 N. Main St., which opens for the season April 1, will donate half the camping fees back to the charity.
To contact Mielke, call 605-228-3318 or 605-996-3700, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop at Klock Werks, 915 S. Kimball St., during business hours.