Carey and Pete Doyscher have competed in all 22 chili cook-offs during Boxelder Bug Days.The Chili Cook-off winners from left to right: Lu Hinz (3rd place in judge's voting), Cam Crider (2nd place with Julie Crider in judge's voting), Carey Doyscher (first in judge's voting), Julie Crider, and Jeremy Friedrichs (first in People's Choice and Best Booth).

Friedrichs has recipe for People’s Choice success

If you have a winning recipe, you might as well not mess with it. After winning the People's Choice Award in the Johnny Tillemans Memorial Chili Cook-off last year, Jeremy Friedrichs figured to stick with the same game plan.

"I pretty much use the same recipe every time I make chili," he said, mentioning his beef chili has a hint of sweetness but would reveal no more. Friedrichs is now on a winning streak in the Boxelder Bug Days event.

In his third year of competing in the chili cook-off, he came in first in the Judge's voting and then was the top vote-getter among the public tasting each of the past two years. Friedrichs was one of seven cooks competing in the chili cook-off this year under the canopy tents that were set up to repel the persistent Saturday morning rain.

Carey Doyscher finished first in the judge's voting for her elk chili recipe. Julie and Cam Crider were second and Lu Hinz finished third. Friedrichs, who also won for Best Booth, gets to keep the traveling Boxelder Bug Trophy made by Chris Swedzinski for at least another year as the People's Choice winner.

The People's Choice winner is selected by those purchasing samples of the various cook's chili and then voting for the best chili recipe, as well as the best decorated booth.

Despite the steady rain, there was a large group of people purchasing tickets for samples in the City Hall parking lot where the event was held for the second year after moving from the empty lot that is now the restaurant portion of City Hall Bar & Grill. Beans are not allowed in the chili recipes in the judge's voting, but can be added for the public tasting.

"I'll be back again next year," said Friedrichs.

An no doubt with the same recipe. After all, he's now on a winning streak.

David Vasholz of Columbia, MD tastes a sample of one of the cook's chili during the competition on Saturday. Vasholz's wife, Hope, grew up in Minneota. Hope's father, the late Gerald Olson, was the principal and athletic director at Minneota for many years. Staff photo by Scott Thoma.

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