“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 Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam.
The Virginia Sportsmen’s Foundation hosted the 26th Annual Wild Game Chili Cook-Off on Thursday, January 19, 2017 in downtown Richmond at the beginning of the General Assembly session. Thank you to all of the cooks, judges and volunteers who made the event a success, including former Delegate Albert Pollard for providing the steamed oyster bar.
“We continue to put on this event because it’s one of the rare times when you can get legislators, government officials, lobbyists and staffers together just for fun,” said foundation president Will Payne. “It’s a no-politics zone and frankly is, for many of the attendees, the only time of the year they get to try wild game.”
No, Clark Mercer didn’t kill the kangaroo. He bought it at a specialty meats purveyor in Northern Virginia. And Dave Hewes will quietly acknowledge that this bison was last grazing in a cooler at Kroger. But that elk simmering in No. 11’s crock pot? Well, let’s just say it was in the wrong place at the wrong time when it met up with Harold Ellis out West.
The cook-off usually features chili made of exotic meats. This year’s menu includes elk, bear, venison, goose and pheasant. There will also be a vegetarian version, Will Payne said. Some of the more famous (in the Richmond political world) participants will actually cook their own chili. Others like Sen. Richard Saslaw, will be stirring in ingredients, Payne said.