JOPLIN, Mo. — A chilly day outside calls for some warm, tasty chili, inside.

That was the game’s name at the “Joplin Empire Market”.

They held their 4th Annual Chili Cookoff Competition.

Eight competitors showcased their culinary chili creations to judges.

The winner of this year’s competition was the “Joplin Professional Firefighters Local 59” organization, with their smoke showin’ chili.

By the way, it was their debut year in the Empire Market’s competition.

They defeated last year’s competition champion, Joleen Edwards, who placed 2nd with her kickin’ chicken chili.

“This year – we changed up where we had our cookoff in the building. So, we were able to take advantage of our new commercial kitchen and cafe seating area for the cookoff this year – so that was really fun for anyone that was able to come out and see that space that we’ve been working on for the last year,” said Lindsay Gagnon, Joplin Empire Market Dir. For Downtown Joplin Alliance.

“Well, when you talk about firefighters, they always say that if you want to get a good recipe, get it from a firefighter. So we try to do our best. Basically, when you talk about a firefighter recipe when you think about a firefighter, you can think about smoke. So that’s a little secret ingredient that we use in our chili is smoke,” said Jeremie Humphrey, President of Joplin Professional Firefighters Local 59.

KODE’s very own Mike Olmstead also handled today’s emcee duties.

The next major event for the “Joplin Empire Market” is “Paris Week”.

It will be held on Saturday, February 11th.