Two teams from Kleefeld will get another shot next week at the World Food Championships in Alabama.
The teams of Robert, Jaylene and Brooke Kewley and Anna and Charity Meneer will represent Canada in the chili cookoff. These same two teams also competed last year in Alabama with the Meneers finishing 14th and the Kewleys 24th. 14-year-old Brooke Kewley will be the youngest sous-chef in the chili cookoff this year.
The two teams qualified thanks to their showing at the Kleefeld Chili Cookoff this summer. That event served as the Canadian Finals for 2017. The top two teams qualified for the Worlds. The Kewleys finished 2nd in Kleefeld and the Meneers 3rd, but because it didn't work for the 1st place finisher to go, the Meneers got the nod.
The teams left Saturday morning and will spend 30 hours driving down to Orange Beach, Alabama. The chili cookoff happens next Saturday. Kewley says they will be given four hours to turn in two chilis. The top 10 teams advance to Sunday. Kewley says if they win on Sunday, they receive $10,000 plus a return trip in April to compete for $100,000.
"We're bringing both guns blazing this time and hopefully we'll bring back the gold," he says.
Kewley notes they have changed up their recipe from last year. He notes it has some new spice and also features more of a Manitoba flavour.
"We're actually bringing a Manitoba bison down with us," he says. "We're making our own homemade pasta with some Manitoba twist to it, with some honey and all that in it."
Kewley says they are in the process of marketing their chili. And, by February he expects to be selling their Down Home Cooking chili in local grocery stores.
Kewley says next week's competition will be very intense but he says at the end of the day it's all family. He notes last year they met a lot of famous chefs in Alabama and stay in touch with them to this day.