Julie Nunez of La Rockita serves a taster during Sunday afternoon’s Public Safety Chili Cook-off. The La Rockita team won the Restaurants category for the second straight year. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)


A correction was made at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 13, 2023: An earlier version of this article reported an attendance figure of 863. Philomath Police Chief Ken Rueben clarified that the number that had been announced at the event was a reference to the number of on-site sales and didn't take into account tickets sold online, which when added in brought the total to 1,014.

The Public Safety Chili Cook-off, a four-hour fundraiser for the Philomath Police Foundation and the Benton County Sheriff’s Foundation attracted its largest crowd ever with a head count of 1,014, organizers announced.

The hundreds of chili tasters had plenty of sampling to do with a record 25 teams competing for top honors in six categories.

Winners by category:

• Local Businesses — Philomath Rental’s “Tools R Us” with team captain Dennis Cabatic.

• Sheriff’s Office Teams — BCSO Reserves with team captain Shelby Moody.

Benton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Tyler Lyman samples the BCSO Patrol No. 2 chili. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

• First Responders and Support — Corvallis 911’s “Bubble and Simmer” with team captain Andrew Thompson.

• Restaurants — La Rockita’s “El Chile” with team captain Julie Nunez.

• Police Departments — Philomath Police Department’s “5-0 Championship Chili” with team captain Ken Rueben.

• People’s Choice — Corvallis Police Department with team captain Jason Harvey.

Twenty-seven teams had originally registered to participate but two had to drop out.

Money raised through the event will benefit the 4 Spirits Distillery Veterans Scholarship Fund and the Philomath and Sheriff’s Office foundations.

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