1997 - The final party at Jim and Kathy's...
The end of an era!

It was another fabulous party, once again hosted by Kathy Klovstad and Jim Thompson. (I'm indepted to you two...you're the best!) Attendance was down quite a bit this year. If we called upon the statisticians to tell the story, we'd all be grieving the imminent demise of this wonderful event. It would go something like this..."Attendance at this year's event was off by 50%. Add to that a drop of 38% in chili entries, and the obvious conclusion is that this party has seen it's hey day, and we may have witnessed the swan song"...these, of course are the same folks who are now proclaiming the death of Apple and the Mac, and it just goes to show that you can claim pretty much whatever you want through the magical misuse of statistics!

To be fair, those numbers are accurate. We had about 40 guests this year, and 8 chilis entered. Those 40 people filled the house though, and partied as if they were 60 strong, and several commented that the fewer entries made it easier to keep chilis straight while voting. I also found the entries to be remarkably high quality this year, each capable of taking home an award.

To the great disappointment of many, I completely spaced on reading favorite comments from the ballots. (I put some excessive energy into getting into the party spirit this year, and my brain was more frayed than usual by award time...I've included some of the comments in the competition section below...ooh, almost forgot, this year also marks the first year where "Ian and His Date" did NOT receive the most votes for Most Curious Combination. I owe this both to Leanne for making a truly odd (and very delicious!) chili, and especially to Judy for being my delightful date this year.

Check out more details in the sections that follow...and start thinking about next year. Now that we're the international Chili Bowl (thanks again Judy!), I'll be putting much energy into getting some foreign entries into next year's competition. (Foreign, as in, from another country, not as in foreign matter in the chili...we've got plenty of that already!)...See y'all in 1998!

Note: A big thank you to Jim Stotz, for providing photos of all of the winners receiving their prizes! We had exceptional chilis this year! Big thanks to all the chefs who contributed.

(copyright 1990-2018, Ian Silver)