chili Champs

Chili champions — The sixth annual Windsor Chili Cook-Off returns July 13. Pictured are the 2017 and 2018 People’s Choice Award winners, the Geyserville Dragon Slayers.

On Saturday, July 13 on the Windsor Town Green, the competition will be hot and spicy at the sixth annual Windsor Chili Cook-Off.

The annual event benefits the Vineyard Academy at Windsor High School, the Windsor Fire Foundation and the Windsor Chamber of Commerce.

According to a statement, “It will be an exceptional day of killer chili with celebrity judges, great live music by the Twice As Good band and circling throughout will be members of the deadly Resurrection Roller Girls. Opportunities await to compete in the cook-off, sponsor the event or just come eat some chili and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award.”

Event tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for kids over age 10 and includes tastings of all chilis competing for the People's Choice Award. Ticket holders have a chance to win a Traeger barbecue from Johnson Pool & Spa, and to participate in a Wine Country raffle.

Live entertainment is provided by the Twice As Good blues band with Master of Ceremonies Ricky Michaels of The Wolf (KWVF), and event assistance by the Resurrection Roller Girls, a flat track roller derby league based out of Rohnert Park.

“We are very excited about the Resurrection Roller Girls participating this year,” said Lorene Romero, president and CEO of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event.

According to Romero, this year the focus will be on fun and a hometown feel. Last year, the competition ran under Chili Appreciation Society International rules, but this year it will return to a much more local set of criteria.

Celebrity judges include Fabiano Ramaci, winemaker/chef at Mora estates; Mateo Granados, owner and chef at Mateo’s Cocina Latina; Mitch Dearmon, of Oliver’s Market; Richard Pharo, rancher, farmer, cowboy and chef; Lindsay Challoner, chef at Ceres; Danny Wright, host of the Danny Wright morning show on the River 97.7FM and co-host of Outside Slants, a 49er podcast; Ben Perry, co-host SportsMeatsBeer podcast; Brad Barmore, owner of Kin, Kinsmoke and the Publican, and co-host of SportsMeatsBeer and Outside Slants podcasts; Nathaniel Roa, Sonoma County chef for 18 years; and Esther Lemus, town councilmember.

Many competitors are former champions looking to regain (or retain) their crown, including Johnson’s Pool & Spa, Romero said.

Twice As Good, or their acronym 2XG, is the professional name of the music duo formed by Paul Anthony Steward and his father, Richard James Steward from the Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians. Richard grew up around music, having learned to play guitar and sing country music from his mom. Growing up he got to hear lots of different kinds of music on the radio, and he mostly admired the Blues and Soul.

According to a statement, the name "Twice As Good" is not a claim of status. To Paul and Rich, it is a dedication to hard work and quality of craft; about believing in one's self, not being shy and having the courage to try something as hard as becoming a successful professional musician. They were once told, "You can't make it in the music business, you got to be twice as good," so they replied, "well, all right then. We will be, Twice As Good."

“This is an amazingly fun, family oriented event,” Romero said. “There is music, good-natured competition, hot dogs, beer, Wicked Slush, corn bread and, of course, the best chili anywhere.”  

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