About 50 amateur chili and salsa judges lined up to taste test dishes entered in the 2015 Chili and Salsa Cookoff at the Montezuma County Fair on Thursday.
The event lets locals’ home recipes compete for a chance at $480 in cash prizes.
The second-annual event was a big draw last year and made its triumphant return again, drawing more judges and competitors this year.
This year’s categories were green and red chili, and vegetable and fruit based salsa.
Those interested in this year paid one dollar for all access to the spread, money that gets reinvested into next year’s event, explained event coordinator Kathi Marler.
While taste was an obvious factor, judges were also asked to rate their favorites based on color, spice, texture and overall flavor.
“Every one is different, so this is going to be tough,” said Judge Shelley Williamson. “Some have heavy cilantro, some have heavy chili. There are some really great flavors.”
After the ballots were counted and judges announced the winners, Tamara Samora took home first place and $100 cash for her vegetable salsa.
“I make it at family events and everyone loves it, so I decided to enter,” she said.
Stacy Clark took first place in the red chili category, and Rosa Sabido took first in the green chili category.