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Morton's annual Chili Cook Off sizzles

The 16th annual event serves up chili and collects funds for the Sarasota Fire Fighters Benevolent Fund.

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  • | 2:40 p.m. October 19, 2015
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Hours of preparation and perfecting chili recipes culminated into the 16th annual Morton's Chili Cook Off Sunday afternoon in Southside Village. 

The annual event pits firehouses against one another to claim the trophy and people's choice award. Funds from the event will benefit the Sarasota Fire Fighters Benevolent Fund. 

Firefighters from as far north as Manatee County and south to Boca Grande put their culinary skills to the test this year. Some groups went with themes for their booths like the North Port Fire Rescue that decided on a Disney castle complete with characters like Prince Charming, Buzz Lightyear and Woody. The theme was in honor of former colleague and Disney fan Christina Doyle who died in May after a battle with leukemia. 

Most booths refused to spill their secret recipes but insisted that their chili was made with love. Jason Wilkens was the chef behind the chili for Section 8 Fire House. He let us in on their secret of using chipotle peppers and balsamic vinegar in the recipe.

"Every year we don't place, we do something different," Wilkins said.

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