Blair Thorpe invited all comers to taste and judge the entries in the second annual Chili Cook-off held during Filomi Days at Thunderbird Mall in Port Hardy.

Chili runner-up no has-bean

Blair Thorpe surrendered his title in the second chili cook-off at Overwaitea Foods during Filomi Days.

PORT HARDY—Blair Thorpe surrendered his title in the second chili cook-off at Overwaitea Foods during Filomi Days. And he’s going to be very hot as a result.

“Since I won last year and we had a new entry this time, I decided to give everybody a chance by leaving out my secret ingredient,” said Thorpe, who runs the lotto booth at Thunderbird Mall. “Next year, I’ll have to put it back in.”

The cook-off was held to raise money for B.C. Children’s Hospital. Visitors were asked to make a donation for a chance to taste samples of chili cooked up by Thorpe, Overwaitea Foods’ Franco Magliocchi, and Port Hardy Fire Rescue, then vote for their favourite.

It was a close contest, with Franco and the firefighters sharing first place and Thorpe’s entry just five votes back in third.

Thorpe challenged Overwaitea’s staff to the initial cook-off during Grey Cup weekend in 2012. He decided to make it part of this year’s Filomi Days to draw more interest.

“We had a blast,” he said. “I’m gonna get a trophy made up here and we’re gonna have it every year. I’d like to get some other businesses and maybe the RCMP involved, now that we’ve got the firefighters.

“It’s all for a good cause.”