By Reggie Ellis

The Academy Award for Best Costume went to Marilyn Monroe, who seemed a shoe-in to win since she was one of the few entries.

A fleet of Marilyn Monroe look-a-likes chopped, diced and prepped and primped for the Hollywood-themed Chili Cook-Off held on Oct. 7.

Two Marilyns, Lisa Waggoner and Linda Salinas, helped their mother, Rebecca Salinas make chili for the Tule River Calientes, representing Eagle Mt. Casino. The two took first place for Best Costume. Another Marilyn, second-grade teacher Maricela Gonzalez, joined her fellow colleages at Jefferson Elementary School, which won second-place for Best Decorated booth. The combination of Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, Cher and flappers won first place for Best Costume. Marilyn's name also appeared on the Walk of Fame in front of Virginia Hair Studio's booth.

&#8220This is something that we enjoy doing together,” Waggoner said.

But the real stars were the salsa made by the always glamorous Suzi Picasso and the chili made by barbecue afficianado Danny Salinas and his Uniform Connection crew. Picasso earned $100 for her prize, and Salinas won the grand prize of $500 for his chili.

Dr. Frank Baughman, DDS returned to the Chili Cook-Off to take back his title as jalapeno eating champion. Baughman has won three of the last four contests. He only lost the title last year because he was out of town during the event. In true Hollywood comeback fashion, Baughman broke his own record of 65 by eating 67 jalapenos in five minutes.

&#8220The tip of my tongue gets a little hot but not until after I'm done,” said the 72-year-old dentist. &#8220When I'm eating them I don't even notice it.”

Baughman said he actually likes the taste of jalapenos. Even when he went out of town last year, his wife packed some up for him so he could have them with his meals. Blanca Gutierrez won the women's division by eating 27 jalapenos in five minutes.

The pie eating contest was equally competitive as Jason Daniel, 8, powered his way to victory in the 5- to 9-year-old division, while Megan Salinas, 10, more technically attacked her pie to win the 10- to 15-year-old division.

Start typing and press Enter to search