CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Bob Hall of Taylorville has claimed title, once again, to the best green chili in the world. Hall has been named the world champion in the the green chili division at the International Chili Society World’s Chili Championships in Charleston, West Virginia. Hall won the title also in 2009.
After winning the ‘09 title, Hall credited friends, Don Marsango, Wally Hiel and the late Bill Gasper, all Taylorville natives, as the inspiration for him to compete in chili cookoffs.
In 1986, Hall, along with Marsango and Gasper, started the Chillifest held annually in Taylorville.
Hall, and friends, went to the Association of Commerce and Industry, now known as the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, for assistance with underwriting the event.
The trio made chili and sold it to fund the first Chillifest. Chili sales still fund the event 23 years after inception.
The Chillifest will be held this Saturday and Sunday on the Taylorville square.
The ICS recognizes the Chillifest as the Chillinois Regional, and the winners of all three divisions on Saturday and Sunday qualify to compete in next year’s world championships.
Bob Plager of Littleton, Colo., has been crowned the top maker of traditional red chili. Plager was presented a $25,000 check after beating out dozens of others Sunday at the ICS signature event in Charleston.
Carrie Lentz Parker of Leesburg, Va., finished second and Plager’s wife, Kathy, was third. Last year’s world champion, John Jepson of Merced, Calif., finished fourth.
World champions crowned in other events earlier included Jerry Buma of Northbridge, Mass., in salsa, and Tom Pardikes of Plymouth, Mich., in homestyle chili. Buma also won the red chili world event in 2007.
The world championships also were held in Charleston in 2009. The contest heads to Palm Springs, Calif., next year.
The championships take place every October and were started by H. Allen Smith, of Decatur, IL.