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New Mexico State University

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Chili Challenge Brings Top Cooks to Elephant Butte Lake

LAS CRUCES - Cooks will create their favorite chile dishes at the Ninth Annual Enchanted Waters Elephant Butte Chili Cookoff June 12 at the lake's Desert Cove Campground.

"The cook-off is a fun event to attend and sample some great chile," said Mike Cook, coordinator of New Mexico State University's Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT) project.

The competition is limited to 40 contestants who will make red or green chile sauces or chile dishes mixed with anything from venison to beef.

Winners will receive cash awards, ribbons, plaques and goodie baskets. Judges will award prizes for the best red and the best green chile. There also will be a people's choice award, based on spectators' votes for best red chile, best green chile and showmanship.

Festival-goers can purchase chile-tasting cups for $1.50. Tee shirts and aprons featuring the cook-off's logo also can be purchased during the event. Music, food, a raffle and other activities will be featured during the cook-off.

"The proceeds of the cook-off benefit the Truth or Consequences Elks Club Cerebral Palsy Fund," Cook said.

REDTT, a project of NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service, promotes agriculture through tourism. I