Batavia resident Bill Pierson is the state champion chili maker.
Actually, he’s the champ for three states. Pierson took home the trophy for the 24th annual Chili Appreciation Society International chili cook off Saturday (July 30, 2016) at Batavia Riverwalk. Contestants represented Illinois, Iowa and Oklahoma. The Batavia Park District and Batavia Chamber of Commerce cosponsored the event.
Participants from all across the state took part in Saturday’s cookoff in hopes of qualifying for the national competition in Terlingua, TX. Participants competed in the Traditional Division (includes the Restaurant Division) and the Salsa Category, which is new this year. Only CASI contestants will be eligible for the state title. A People’s Choice prize was awarded, and cash prizes went the top three chefs in the Traditional Division.
The Chili Cook Off is sponsored by Confident Aire, the State Farm Office of Ryan VanderVeen, Window Works, and Colonial Café.
SOURCE: Batavia Chamber of Commerce, photos by Al Benson