Garrett Doucette is ready for the heat of competition.
The volunteer firefighter from Upsala, Minn. (population 400), is headed to New York City next week to represent the Midwest as one of five finalists in America’s Best Firehouse Chili Contest. He will be competing to win $10,000 for his fire station with his Creamy Turkey Chili. Hormel Chili, the contest’s sponsor, will be donating an additional $20,000 for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Doucette is a third-generation turkey farmer who also works as a food safety manager elsewhere. “We’re always coming up with ways to promote this protein,” he said in an interview. Doucette has been preparing his turkey chili for more than a decade, and has won various local cookoffs in the past few years with it. Though it’s a standby for any of his family gatherings, he sees a lot of chili prep in his future.