Battling for chili bragging rights

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Things got a little "chili" last week as the United Way of Greater Duluth held its 23rd annual Chili Cook-off at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center on Thursday, Sept. 11.

About 1,500 people turned out to taste and vote on the best recipes while 39 participants competed for chili honors. United Way Partner Agencies set up a fair to provide information about local volunteer opportunities.

"What I enjoy about this event is it helps us get excited to see all the support we have from the community. It is a true example of 'living united.' People from all across the community are involved," said Tracy Gilsvik, United Way spokesperson.

And the winners are...

Grandma's Restaurants' North Shore Chili received the most votes from attendees and won the People's Choice Award. In the Professional Division, Farley's Family Restaurant won first place, Famous Dave's took second and St. Ann's Residence came in third.

In the Amateur Division, the YWCA received first place, Valley Youth Center got second and Soar Career Solutions took third.

The Valley Youth Center also won the "Hottest-Yet-Edible" award for its spicy mixture. Famous Dave's won the "Most Unique" award. ARC Northland received an award for their vegetarian chili.

Whole Food's Co-op won the "Spicy Spirit" award for the second year in a row. This year the Co-op used a KISS theme for their booth as staff members took on the personas and heavy make-up of the band members.