Chelsea Chili Cook-off incites competition

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

The idea of a chili cook-off began with an on-going argument.

Scott Weygand of Farmers Insurance Group in Chelsea and Dr. Justin Fogo of Chelsea Chiropractic both knew they made the better bowl of chili. In an effort to settle their disagreement, they decided to sponsor the Chelsea Chili Cook-off April 2 and settle the feud while raising money for a good cause – Chelsea’s fire safety dog, Hero.

“Myself and Justin Fogo got into an argument every time it gets cold about who’s chili is better. We decided to settle it,” Weygand said. “We want to turn this into an annual event and make it for a good cause.”

Chelsea Fire Department’s Lieutenant Don Williamson takes care of Hero when he’s not educating local school children on fire safety.

“(The cook-off) has expanded beyond what we thought it would. It started with an argument between who has the better chili between Scott and Justin,” Williamson said. “They decided to make some and take it to the fire station and let the firemen tell us. Someone else overheard the conversation and decided to bring their chili. As of yet, we have over a dozen entries.”

Weygand saw raising money for Hero as a good cause because he viewed the dog’s impact firsthand.

“I saw Hero go up to Morningstar’s mother’s day out program when they were teaching the kids about fire safety, and he really held the kids’ attention, Weygand said. “It’s a really neat program how it works. We wanted to help.”

With plans to expand in the future to a barbecue competition, the cook-off’s first year of friendly rivalry will take place at the Chelsea Fire Station April 2 at noon, and the public is invited.