North Routt to dish out top recipes at Sunday’s chili cook-off |

North Routt to dish out top recipes at Sunday’s chili cook-off

Mary White scoops chili onto her plate at last year’s Great North Routt Chili Cook-Off. This year’s event will start at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse.

Mary White scoops chili onto her plate at last year's Great North Routt Chili Cook-Off. This year's event will start at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Hahn's Peak Roadhouse.
Joel Reichenberger

— A mouth-watering event returns to North Routt County on Sunday with its usual friendly competition, a worthy cause and dozens of chilis to taste.

Event organizer Erick Knaus invites members of the community to travel north up Routt County Road 129 for the 10th annual Great North Routt Chili Cook-Off at the Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse, formerly Steamboat Lake Outfitters.

"It's not just North Rowdies," Knaus said. "We welcome everyone else."

The event typically raises more than $3,000 for the North Routt Preschool and North Routt Community Charter School.

It typically attracts 300 to 400 chili tasters, but crowds have been as large as 600 people, Knaus said. Because of the popularity, people who want to taste the entire field of entries are encouraged to arrive when the event begins at 1 p.m.

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"We always plan backup chili, too," Knaus said.

Everyone who attends will be able to vote for his or her favorite red chili, green chili and dessert. There also is an "other" category that includes everything from soups to casseroles.

It costs $10 to enter a dish, and that covers the cost of sampling the competition. Competitors need to drop off their entries of 6 quarts or more by 12:30 p.m. Sunday and should bring their own crock pots, power cords and ladles.

The cost to attend is $40 per family, $10 for adults and free for children younger than 7.

"It's a great community event," said Lori Raper, who took first place in desserts last year with her Refrigerator Delicious Butterscotch Pie.

Raper's husband, Todd, took first place last year in the red chili category for his "Deep Creek Chili."

"I love watching the competition," Lori Raper said. "It's fun to get new recipes and new ideas and to support the up-and-coming kids."

She said that she plans to enter her butterscotch pie again with a new twist and that her husband has been developing some new recipes.

"I'm not sure if he's going to enter the red chili," Raper said. "There are a couple other things he's been experimenting with this year."

Knaus said he is hoping to take the family bragging rights away from his 11-year-old son, Aden, who has won the “other” category the past two years with his Swedish meatballs.

"Time to end that," Knaus said. "I haven't taken first, second or third in a few years, and I'm ready to get back to the top."

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email

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