The Rutherford Chili Ball on Sunday, Aug. 4 at Beckstoffer Vineyards was a sold-out affair. Guests were entertained with live country music by Brigham Brothers Band, bouncy houses, Buki the Clown, giant Jenga, and a mechanical bull in a festive community celebration of Rutherford Dust Society’s 25th anniversary.
The award for “Best Tasting Chili” was determined by Chef David Maryan of Farmstead, Chef Felix Benitez of La Luna Market, and the Rutherford Dust Society board of directors.
“Cinco Chiles Verdes Chili” by Chef Nicolas Monbtanez of Peju took the chef’s vote and belt buckle prize. Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department’s smoky and delicious “Firehouse Chili” swept the popular vote.
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A silent auction included a one-week trip to Montana, a vintage English saddle, and several large format bottles of wine, including Cabernet Sauvignon from Beckstoffer Georges III and Zinfandel from Morisoli vineyards.
As in previous years, the generous bids and donations are donated to Rutherford’s non-profit groups, including the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department, Rutherford 4-H, St. Helena Co-op Nursery School and the historic Rutherford Hall.