At the second annual Code Red Chili Cook-off on Saturday in Zachary, 23 teams competed for the title of Chili Champion.
Eighteen celebrity judges, including Mayor David Amrhein, of Zachary; Mayor Robbie Jackson, of Slaughter; East Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Trae Welch, Zachary Council members Ben Cavin, Brandon Noel and Laura O’Brien; Smiley Anders, Baker Chamber Director LaTania Anderson; and others, tasted and cast votes for their favorite chili.
Teams from various departments at Lane Regional Medical Center, with names like E-Bowl-A, The Screamin’ Sphincters and Slicin’ and Dicin’, vied for the top trophies against teams named the Red Hot Charity Peppers, Red Hot Realtors, The Bengal Chili Bandits, The Grim Eaters and last year’s winner, The Heat Is On, among others.
Benefiting the Lane Regional Medical Center Foundation, which works to raise funds for cancer services at the Radiation Oncology Center in Zachary, the event was attended by hundreds of adults and children, who milled about tasting and voting for their favorite chili, sampling craft beers and listening to music by local band The Gillis Silo and Zachary teen Michelle Willis. Children stayed busy playing games, dunking firefighters and police officers in the dunking booth, throwing footballs, getting their faces painted by volunteer students from the Zachary High Beta Club or by visiting Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine and Venessa, The Louisiana Mermaid.
Three teams competed in the youth division. Winners were Catherine Norris, 12, of the Chili Hoppers, first place; and Dakota Pitcher, 7, of the Chili Masters of Central, second place. The American Girl Dolls featuring Zachary students Hannah Rigdon, 12; Tilley Robinson, 11; and Alex Samford, 11, won third place and Best Team Spirit award.
In the adult division, first place went to the Red Hot Realtors, who also won the People’s Choice award.
Second place went to the Bengal Chili Bandits from Denham Springs, and third place was awarded to the Red Hot Charity Peppers, consisting of members of the Zachary Charity League, who held their own raffle.
The raffle winner, Katey Slaughter, of The Ruby Salon in Zachary, won her choice of a $2,500 trip to Disney World or $2,000.
The Best Decorated Booth was awarded to the combined team of Americana and Level Homes, who had a country and western theme.
Winners of the Code Red Raffle were Allyson Bennett, overnight fishing trip by SeaHagg Charters; Mary Crumholdt, set of four tires donated by Superior Ford; Randy Olson, Lane CEO, who won a handcarved cedar rocking chair donated by Lane employee Byron Minor in memory of the late Darryl Rousseau, a Lane staffer who died unexpectedly this year; and Mindy Head, winner of a diamond necklace and earrings donated by Gary Allen Design.