Chili Cookoff event helps raises funds for BFK9s

The Ayaprun Elitnaurvik Immersion School chili was a hit at the Chili Cookoff last Fri.From left are Zachary Chase, Ms. Emily Ludolph-Spear, Aatarpak Langlie, and Avgerauk Aaliyah Chase. photo by Kelly Lincoln

by K.J. Lincoln

The annual Chili Cookoff featured approximately 17 different kinds of deliciously prepared chilis – all for the benefit of our canine friends and their helpers, the Bethel Friends of Canines volunteers who work so hard. The proceeds will go towards a good cause.

From one end of the chili spectrum to the other, every pot was unique in its own way. There was something for everyone – hot and spicy, mild and salty, coconutty with a taste of Thai, fresh and cilantro-infused delight, meaty and vegetarian, and the fritos were oh so good.

And there was the cornbread and the condiments which were mostly sour cream, onions, shredded cheese, and one vendor even had oyster crackers. It was a banquet of all-you-can-eat chili gourmet.

Chili eaters flocked to the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center to sample and devour the different choices last Friday.

One patron who had just walked in asked his friend, “So what’s the verdict?” who was at the moment working his way through a steamy bowl of something good.

“I like the organic chicken and black bean,” he said.

That, my friends, is Vicki Malone’s Organic Chicken and Black Bean chili. It was so delicious.

Crock pots in various stages of technology (old fashioned plug ins to fancy digitals), stock pots on countertop burners, Cuisinart slowcookers, Rival 20 quart roaster ovens, and happy cooks with ladles in hand filled the great room at the cultural center ready to serve their hungry guests.

And the guests – they ranged from newborn to the elderly and everyone had a good time socializing and sampling all the tasty fare while live music played in the background.

“Thank you to all the volunteers (especially Theresa Quiner for spearheading) and supporters that came out for the chili feed. We will be able to help with spay/neuters, straw, fostering and all the myriad small details that make up Bethel Friends of Canines!!,” wrote the BFK9s in an online post. “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!”

Alaska author Joseph Robertia and his wife Colleen, an Iditarod and Yukon Quest veteran, who were visiting Bethel were special guests at the Cookoff. The Robertias were in town to promote Joseph’s new book “Life with Forty Dogs: Misadventures with Runts, Rejects, Retirees, and Rescues”. They had a presentation and copies of their book was available for purchase.

Winner of the People’s Choice Award went to the mouthwatering Ayaprun Immersion School Minnesota Moose Chili made by Ms. Emily Ludoph-Spear and her helpers Aatarpak Langlie, Zachary and Avgerauk Aaliyah Chase.