Dave and Cynthia Winegarden used an old recipe from South Dakota.
At the Manteca Historical Society’s chili-tasting event on Thursday, their concoction was good enough to claim first place.
“This was a recipe that we got from an old friend of (my husband) Dave,” Cynthia Winegarden said at the fourth annual event held in the museum.
Leon Sucht tweaked his old recipe. Included was the secret ingredient of his second-place bratwurst chili.
“Pickle juice,” he was quick to share.
Johnny and Peggy Boynton once again brought out their “William Famous Steakhouse Chili.” It was a recipe from their days in North Carolina, and collected enough votes from nearly the 50 in attendance to take third place.
“We’re going to need a bigger place,” said Jeanie Marsden, who, along with Gayl Wilson, was this year’s chili-tasting organizers.
Featured were 11 entries including many who are Historical Society members. “If it were up to me, we would have 11 first-place winners,” said Dave Wilson.
His wife, Gayl, added: “This is a great time of year for this chili-tasting event and a great way to say thanks to our members.”
Every taste differed. Tom Handley, for example, preferred his chili on the mild side and without too much spices. “All were very good,” he said.
Behind every chili was a story.
David Rose, who took first place at similar-type event held at the Lathrop Senior Center a year ago, used cooked and shredded chuck roast in his “Rose Chili” recipe.
“I started making it yesterday. I let sit out overnight and reheated it today,” he said.
Jeannette Farley’s garden-fresh chili was amply named “Garden Chili.”
The secret ingredient in Gloria Stanley’s “Gloria Chili” was dark beer.
Claudia Machado’s “Wild Game Chili” featured elk meat. “Last year, we used deer meat – both (deer and elk) are real close in taste,” she said.
Paul McJunkin used sirloin steak and other fresh ingredients in his “Shut the Front Door Chili.”
Pat Metzler brought out her “Southern Chili” and Scott Gatze did likewise with his “Desert Chicken Chili.”
As for Marsden, she had no problem in sharing her “Boy Scout Chili” recipe.
“You open and heat a couple of cans of Dennison’s chili con carne and throw some jack cheese and corn chips,” she said. “Anyone can make it.”