STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – Statesboro Natural Gas’ chili cook-off crowned its winners on Friday evening. The teams competed in the categories Overall Best Chili, Best Restaurant Chili, People’s Choice and Best Decorated Booth.
The chili competition, called “Chili Town,” was a part of Statesboro’s holiday celebration.
Ogeechee Steamers took home the grand prize for Overall Best Chili. This was decided by a panel of judges earlier on in the day who had tried the chili before the event was opened to the public.
The winner for Best Restaurant Chili was Vandy’s BBQ. Vandy’s BBQ has been serving the Boro since 1929 and has two locations in the city.
The Best Decorated Booth went to Boro Take-out Express, a food delivery service that operates within the city and works with local restaurants.
Finally, the winner for People’s Choice was Eagle Creek Brewing Company. Opened in 2013, Eagle Creek is Statesboro’s first craft brewery.
The competition featured over a dozen teams who each made four to five gallons of chili for the public to try. Individuals, businesses and organizations were all able to participate in the event.
There was a range of types of chili at the event. Some were the classic beans and beef — like the chili made by the Statesboro Police Department — but some were more experimental in nature.
“We put cocoa powder in ours to give it that ole flavor,” said Chad Dobbs, a competitor in the event.
Dobbs is a graphic designer at Catalyst Promotions and this was his second year participating in the Chili Town competition.
Many competitors were just happy to be able to participate in the community event.
“We don’t expect to win anything,” said Shyra Williams from Southern City Lounge. This was the first time the lounge had participated in the competition.
“We’ve just come out here to have fun,” Williams said.
Chili samples were free, and attendees were able to vote on the People’s Choice for best chili if they purchased a $1 ticket. Proceeds went to the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County and together, attendees raised over $1,300.