Cottage Bar Hosts Chili Competition

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Grand Rapids, Mich. — The Cottage Bar in Grand Rapids hosted its 32nd annual chili cook-off this weekend a bit earlier than normal.

The bar typically sponsors the competition along with WLAV on the third Saturday of September.

However, they moved it up to the 14th this year to make room for an early Art Prize start date.

The event first began in 1981 when owner Dan Verhil said he noticed that Grand Rapids didn’t have an event like that.

He said he just felt like bringing chili to the streets of Grand Rapids.

The contest has grown over the years to feature live music, a beer tent and a number of competitive cooks.

“We have 40 cooks participating under the tent, they have to make everything from scratch. It takes about 3 ½ hours,” said Verhil.

Verhil said the judges test each recipe until they are able to narrow it down to the top ten.

Then, he said they begin to choose the winner from that group.

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