RIFLE, Colo. — They may be the new kids on the block downtown, but the Whistle Pig Coffee Stop & Cafe walked away as winners at the 36th annual Chili Cookoff on Thursday night, Oct. 1 at the Garfield County Fairgrounds.
The restaurant took first place in the judge’s choice category and second place in people’s choice for their green chili made by Makesha Peterson.
The first place specialty people’s choice southwestern chicken chipotle chili was made by Elissa Nye.
Mountain Air Mechanical of Rifle put on an extraordinary exhibit, as usual, this year building “Wonka’s” chocolate factory, with employees decked out in green wigs.
“The employees did all this,” said owner Mark Fergen. “They are the ones who should get the credit.”
The exhibit featured a variety of chocolate goodies and both young and old attendees enjoyed it.
The traditional jalapeno-eating contest had nine contestants and this year, nobody gagged or threw up. The winner was Josh Gomez, who ate the five designated jalapeños in the fastest amount of time. He earned the title of “Hot Lips” and a $50 Shop Rifle certificate.
“Thank you Team Whistle Pig for your amazing effort in helping put this together and thank you to the citizens of Rifle and the judges for voting,” the chamber said in a statement. “The competition was stiff and everyone brought their ‘A’ game. Congratulations!”