ABC News

On July 28th 2007

Good ole Grilldog was interviewed by ABC


It was a day when Grilldog learned the true

value of being a Winner.

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Here’s the story…

The International Chili Society sponsored an International Chili Cook- Off Saturday July 28th from 11am – 6pm at Stu Segall Productions Film Studio, 4705 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123 (Next to Studio Diner). Proceeds went to the Injured Marine Fund of San Diego at Balboa Hospital.

Thanks to Team Grilldog and all who came out and showed your support: Grillpup, Billdog, Grillrojo, Grillwino and Mellowdog! Vote, Team Grilldog!

Plus our good Buddies at T&H Prime Meats and Sausages,, located at 735 E Mission Rd, in San Marcos, provided the 10 lbs of prime Meat for Good ole Grilldog’s infamous Red Chili i.e. Grilldog’s Howling Chili.

Also Tereska Hampton (619) 994-9759 (Ofc.), Sponsored our team by providing the kitchen area for preparing Grilldog’s entry for the People’s Choice award and all the wine we used (drank). Tereska provides in home wine parties and demonstrations. Thanks Tereska!

Also, Kenny Mohler’s Catering in Alpine California for donating many of the supplies I used during the cook-off, thanks Kenny!

First I want to compliment the sportsman like behavior of all the contestants. Jim, who ran the event was very pleasant and took time to meet everyone. The other contestants offered advice, and I even got to meet Stu, the owner of the production facility. All were nice and Friendly! In my review I’m considering that this was the first time this type of activity was organized there. Therefore, we have to think that although the folks worked hard, they may have Bit off more than they could Chew. Now, I thought long and hard about my review here and want to point out, it’s merely an observation from someone on the outside looking in. I might suggest that next year the organizers put together a committee so that no one person is left holding the bag and many of my observations will be a moot topic next year. Plus, remember, this was for a good cause and in the end the Injured Marine Fund received a lot of support. Therefore, I’m titling my review… What does Winning Mean?

I learned a lesson about winning at the chili contest. I had many positive compliments regarding my People’s Choice entry and our vastly decorated tent. We had Grillpup, Billdog, Grillrojo, Grillwino and Mellowdog all working hard to try and win one of the prizes. There was a best decorated tent prize, salsa prize, people’s choice award and 1st 2nd and 3rd place prizes for best Chili Verde and best Red Chili and even best “1st Time Chili Contestant” award.

I had a couple concerns about the event.

1st, there was a mix up in the salsa contest with the labels on the bottom of the container so in the end the actual winner wasn’t the one that submitted the winning salsa. For example, my cup said 207 when in fact I was 106. However, being first time there, I didn’t realize there was a problem until the end of the day. I assumed they had a way of associating that with me. Note: I didn’t get my 106 number until after I submitted my salsa entry, so there was no way of knowing.

2nd, we were promised a 50 dollar coupon to use at the diner which we didn’t receive. Instead we got some trinkets from one of the sponsors of the event. (However, in all due respect, I did contact Jim, the manager of the Diner, who organized the event and they are mailing me the certificate – I’ll let you know when I get it!)

3rd, Many of the winners were folks who had spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on equipment, posters and travel the country doing nothing but entering these contests and the same folks win all the time. Perhaps they have the best chili or perhaps the judges recognize the taste and says Oh, I like this because it’s so familiar to them that they associate it with their favorite chili.

However, is it the best chili? Can’t tell ya that one. An interesting note, which is good for the charity is that the grand prize winner freely donated his prize money to the charity and didn’t take a dime. Now that’s charity!

4rd, Well, the People’s Choice Chili is going to be a favorite person contest more than a best chili, for example if 100 of my friends show up, they’ll most likely vote for me rather then someone else.

5th, the winner of best decorated tent didn’t even decorate their Tent! Plus they weren’t even in the Chili Contest! Someone shoot me right now! They were the folks that ran the charity for the event. Their “Decorated” area consisted of one 10′x10′ canopy, two tables, one for a raffle and one for selling tee shirts for their charity. At least, that was all that I saw. If I’m wrong, perhaps someone could correct me. So the money for best decorated area, of course simply went right back to the Charity. Which of course benefits the charity event so one just can’t complain about that, now, can they?

6th, I was told I had to bring a K rated fire extinguisher or I couldn’t be in the contest After searching for one for over 2 weeks I found one that set me back over 200 dollars! Of about 30 Contestants only two or three of us even had one, again, that’s all I could see. If I’m wrong, someone correct me.

However, I can tell you, no one checked to see if I had one and no one even really seemed to have cared. Plus, of the ones I could see, they only had a 25 dollar K-Mart Blue light Special Fire Extinguisher… Oh, now I see what the K rating was for, it was K-Mart, not for grease fires! Silly me!

7th, There was a prize for Best Over all, New 1st Time Cook. What was the criteria for this award based on? Well, we’re still not really sure. Best Chili? Best decorated area? Best Spirit? Can’t be sure on that one so don’t quote me. But they had a nondescript area (not decorated) and did Nothing other than serve Chili AND They Won??? Again, that’s as far as I can tell. If I’m wrong, someone let me know!

8th, I believe I counted only 6 or so beauty contestants for the Ms. Red Hot Chili Contest.

9th, There was an old fashioned car show? Where? I didn’t see it, I saw, maybe 4 cars, Maybe!!!

10th, Movie Stars? Where were they hiding? Food Network Filming? WHERE? I heard they came by before the event, filmed the Diner and bugged out! 11th, it wasn’t until around 3 o’clock that word got out there was free food for the cooks.

12th, The Buffet for Breakfast was a nice touch but no one was watching for when trays got empty and many people had to wait around 20 minutes for the trays to be filled! And not everyone wants coffee! Where was the orange juice? Regardless of the running of the event, the Injured Marine Fund Charity did very well, from what I could tell. So that’s a four paws and a tail salute right there!

And Again, I want to stress, that everyone was friendly and as someone who has run countless large events and produced TV Shows, I know how hard it is to pull something like this off. Hopefully, next year, the lessons learned will be learned or there may not be as many cooks in the contest. I know there will at least be one less next year.

How the Day Proceeded

Grilldog and his Grillpack of Friends arrived there at about 7am and left at 6pm, it was a long day. Not as hot as it could be. We spent a lot of time setting up the Canopy, decorated with balloons, colorful strings, Parrots, posters, free give-aways, free raffles. Plus we were all dressed in Chili colors with our teams logo on it and matching Red Ball Caps with our names on it. Plus I had on my Grilldog Cap, a bandito bullet belt with shot glasses and jalepenos instead of bullets, a gun holster with a whip in it, a red and yellow chili bandana and Chili shaped Sun Glasses (move over Elton John!). I’ll post pictures on my forum shortly.

As the day dragged on, I met a lot of new friends and have about 50 or so new email names from folks who want to be in a show, (if you are one of them reading this right now… Howdy!) see a show or just want to stay updated via my news letter, the Howler. Plus we all had fun meeting folks, listening to the music and we drank a lot of beer. OK, someone smuggled a couple cases of beer in my area, and we had to drink it before it was discovered!

Now for the highlight of the day. ABC News showed up and walked around the grounds and of the 20 folks entered in the Red Chili Contest, 15 in the Chili Verde Contest and 10 in the salsa contest, the 6 Ms. Red Chili contestants and winner, the shout and holler winners, the best booth winners, the noteworthy best 1 time cook winner and the 100’s of other people there, ABC News picked only 1 of all these “WINNERS” to interview and broadcasted the interview on every one of their news casts all night Saturday starting at 5:00pm, that’s about 5 times. That one person, that sole representative of the Spirit of the International Chili Society’s Chili Cook-Off to benefit the Injured Marine Fund of San Diego, was none other then (are ya tingling, hear the drums rolling) Good ole Grilldog. Plus, the tag line the anchor woman used to introduce the entire event was…. “Iron Chef Meets Grilldog”…

Not only that, a few days later I received a phone call from one of the photographers there and pictures of me and the Grillpack of friends are going to be the main pictures in the San Diego Marine’s News. You know I’m getting a copy of that!

What I learned about Winning

As we were wrapping up, I was a bit frustrated at some of the events of the Day, needless to say. Since the promises of a Carnival like experience just fell short of their mark. I didn’t mind not Winning any of the prize money, maybe disappointed in what I observed and/or have been informed of. However, in my humble opinion, of everyone at the Chili Cook off, there was really only 1 really BIG Winner, other then the folks that will benefit from the Charity. And that One BIG Winner was the one that truly believes, Food, Fun and Friends will win out EVERY TIME, and that is Good Ole Grilldog and his Grillpack of friends… Thanks ABC News, the Marine News and my Entire Grillpack of Friends who showed their support.

I really feel like a winner… Thanks again all… I didn’t need the prize money, nor recognition for winning anything at the Chili Contest. The final events of the day proved more rewarding than any amount of money there. Although, Note: Grillpup wants the 225 dollars back for the damned K-rated fire extinguisher and so do I… So I’ll close this article saying, supplies for food and decorations: $150. Unneeded fire extinguisher: $225. Having the ABC new anchorwoman comparing Grilldog to an Iron Chef?: PRICELESS!… Move over World, Grilldog’s Coming!

… Note, as of today 9/17/2009, I still have not received that damned 50 dollar gift certificate.  Bastards!

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