Seven soups, six chilis will highlight Kinship’s annual cookoff

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor
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Anne Rush, left, serves Charlie Peterka and Greg Spofford her “What a Rush” chili at a previous Kinship Soup and Chili Cookoff event. Rush will be in the running for a top spot again Tuesday, when the 13th annual cookoff is held at the Falls Ballroom.

Savory soups and spicy chili will once again entice residents to the Falls Ballroom Tuesday.

At the biggest fundraising and promotion event for Kinship, residents will be asked to weigh in on their choice for the best soup and best chili during the 13th annual Kinship Soup and Chili Cookoff.

From 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls, cooks from across the county will vie for the judges’ votes and for the “People’s Choice” awards as they show off their cooking skills.

And, to add even more flavor to the event, a traveling “Theme Trophy” will be awarded to the cooks who pique the crowd’s interest with their theme for the evening.

Granny’s Cafe in Swanville won the theme contest last year with the best theme and the best soup, said Aaron Olson, executive director for Kinship of Morrison County. They will offer “Vegetable Beef Soup.”

“It’s a pretty standard name, but we’re expecting good things from them,” said Olson.

Some entrants include the familiar such as Anne Rush’s “What a Rush” chili, a crowd favorite in years past.

Other entrants include “Zylka’s Best Chili” from the Red Bull Bar; Perkins with its “Italian Sausage Soup” and “Perk It Up Chili;” Jordie’s Trailside Cafe will enter its “Soo Line Creamy Tomato Dumpling Soup;” RadioShack will offer “Amber’s Awesome Mexican Soup” and St. Gabriel’s will feature “Taco Soup.”

Then there will be “Better Than Yours Chili” from Lake Beauty Bible Camp; “Pheasant Wild Rice Soup,” by Le-Blanc’s Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation and Cabin Fever chefs will whip up their “Creamy Chicken Artichoke Soup” for the crowd to enjoy.

The Morrison County Housing and Redevelopment Authority and Donna’s Big John’s will enter “Lorelee’s Family Chili;” the Old Creamery Cafe will showcase their version of chili and the Falls Ballroom will enter its white chili.

Olson said, “We have had white chili in the past and it has always been competitive.”

Guests will also be treated to bread sticks donated by Perkins and baked by the Falls Ballroom staff and ice cream cones served up by the Crow Wing County Dairy Ambassadors.

Olson said six judges have been chosen, although he wouldn’t say who. “They do the serious judging with score sheets,” he said. “They choose first, second and third place in the soup and chili categories.”

Cash prizes await those who are chosen as winners by the judges.

Entertainment throughout the evening will be provided this year by Lannie Anderson, Kevin Anderson, Marlyn Kottke and Tony Noordmans, who play a mix of country bluegrass and gospel, said Olson.

Tickets will be available at the door for $6 for adults; $3.50 for children ages 5-17, and children under age 5 and senior citizens over the age of 80 are admitted for free.

All proceeds will benefit Kinship of Morrison County.

For more information about the event, call Olson at (320) 632-8806, or e-mail [email protected]