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Magical weekend in Minneota

A ‘change up’ at chili cook-off

Photo by Mike Lamb A clown in the Minneota Boxelder Bug Days parade shows Kathyrn and Madeline Winter a few tricks that were up his sleeve on Sunday.

MINNEOTA — Finding the perfect blend of spicy, smoky and sweet flavors is a pursuit that Kari Doyscher has been on for years in her quest to make the perfect bowl of chili.

On Saturday, Doyscher’s hard work paid off when she took home the first-place trophy in the 23rd annual Johnny Tillemans Chili Cook-off held at Veterans Park in Minneota as part of Boxelder Bug Days.

Doyscher was thrilled to hear her name called as the winner of the competition, but admitted she was surprised given all of the talented cooks in the event.

“I didn’t expect it. We have such excellent chili cookers that each year it’s anybody’s game,” said Doyscher.

Doyscher credits some subtle adjustments to her recipe after receiving feedback over the past few years that it was too spicy.

“I did add a couple of different ingredients that I normally don’t just for a change up in my recipe,” said Doyscher. “Several years ago, I experimented and I combined three different recipes and sort of fine-tuned it and that’s my base for my chili cook-off.”

The chili cook-off champion was crowned after receiving the most votes from members of the Boxelder Bug Day crowd, who paid a small fee to sample all of the different recipes at the six booths. All of the proceeds generated from the event went to Prairie Home Hospice and Community Care with Marketing and Development Director Tara Plante on hand to organize and host the event.

Rounding out the competition were second and third-place winners Pete Doyscher and Jeremy Friedrichs, respectively. All three winners received gift cards as prizes.

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