A barbeque team that competed in the chili cook-off in Kleefeld this summer, ended up winning the World Open Chili Championship over the weekend in Florida.
Wayne Shymko of Winnipeg took second place in August and because the Kleefeld event was a world qualifier, his team moved on to Kissimmee. Shymko sat in 8th place after round one in Florida, but a strong showing in round two helped him claim the top prize of $10,000. There were 26 competitors.
Shymko now has Monday to prepare for the Final Table event against eight other winners from the following categories: Bacon, Barbeque, Burger, Dessert, Pasta, Recipe, Sandwich and Seafood. That event takes place Tuesday with the winner receiving $100,000.
"I think it's going to bring a lot of awareness throughout Canada to help promote and yet show that we are becoming a world class event here in Kleefeld," says Gord Meneer who helps organize the Kleefeld chili cook-off. "To be able to showcase it at the Worlds and come back with a championship for Canada in the first year is truly remarkable."
Meneer says the Kleefeld event continues to be involved with the Canadian Food Championships and though Kleefeld will be one of their events on the 2016 calendar, it remains to be seen just what role the event will play.
"Next year we'll hopefully have a bigger and better event for the Canadian Food Championships event that we hold in Kleefeld," says Meneer.