May 4, 2013
It's culinary competition in Albemarle County that challenges the palette and is a 32-year tradition.
From Scottsville to Charlottesville and even as far as Baltimore, nearly 1,000 people attended the James River Runners Chili Cook-off, and lots look forward to it each year.
It is the annual fundraiser for Scottsville Water Rescue.
This year, there were bounce houses for kids and six breweries who set up across from the chili to offer what they have to those needing a cool down after tasting the dozen different chilis available.
There was no cook-off last year, so one chili team was happy to be back and under their tent to share their recipe with the community for the tenth year.
And they say it's the "cleanest chili you'll ever have."
Doug Golder and Eric Lucas of Scottsville have been a team for 10 years and have a unique set up.
"I took everything out of the inside of a washing machine and put a cooker inside of it and now we made 10 gallons of chili out of a washing machine," said Goulder, who owns Doug's Maytag Home Appliance Center in Scottsville. "And it's unique. People love eating out of a washing machine."
His best friend, Eric Lucas, is the chef and Golder is the business sponsor. They say this year there was a smaller crowd than in the past, but that doesn't take away from the best part of the day for them.
"My favorite part is the crowd, the people. To be able to feed the crowd and have them come back and say I'd like some more of that chili. That's the best part," Golder said.
The people, the chili and the cause are what keep them coming back each year.
"I actually closed the shop today and I'm sorry if I disappointed any of my customers but this is more important. It's important to support the people who support us is more important to me."
The Scottsville Fire Department helped the Jamers River Runners organize the event this year.
"It's been really fun, a little stressful in the beginning but now that it's getting later in the day we're a little more calm now but it's a great event," said Battalion Chief Jason Pugh of the Scottsville Fire Department. "Water rescue is very important especially on the James River where lots of people are on the water tubing, kayaking that sort of thing and we play a big part in water rescue around here."