Virginian-Pilot features 'Wild Game Chili Cook-Off'

Around Capitol Square: Breaking down close votes in the General Assembly, wild game chili and more
By Jordan Pascale
The Virginian-Pilot
January 21, 2017

An annual “Wild Game Chili Cook-off” tradition started by Virginia Beach lawmaker

I ate moose meat the other night. Not something I ever planned or desired to eat, but if someone hands you something like that, you don’t turn it down. It could’ve just as easily been beef from its taste and texture, in my opinion.

It was part of the General Assembly Wild Game Chili Cook-Off, which is in its 26th year and sponsored by the Virginia Sportsmen’s Foundation. It was started by former Virginia Beach senator, now sheriff, Ken Stolle as a way to promote hunting, fishing and natural resource conservation.

The cook-off usually features chili made of exotic meats. The menu included pheasant, boar, moose, elk, venison, quail and turkey. Some years have offered bear meat.

The event was packed with legislators, staff, lobbyists and other Capitol crew.

“Most people that come don’t hunt, probably don’t want to hunt, but it gives them a chance to try something different,” organizer Will Payne said.

First place went to a wild boar chili from Clark Mercer, chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.

The moose chili I tried was submitted by members of the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office.

It was appropriately named “Rocky’s Triumph.”

The sign near the chili showed a picture of the cartoon flying squirrel, Rocky, and moose, Bullwinkle. It also had a picture of newly-elected Del. Rocky Holcomb, R-Virginia Beach, a captain in the Sheriff’s Office.

A double pun. Impressive.