An Andover grandma known for her salsa-making prowess had a big night on Thursday.
Ellis' salsa was named the best by a panel of judges that included me, Gaga's Grub owner Dustin Presley and Carlos O' Kelly's Jon Rolph. Her prizes: A cutting board trophy, a new food processor and a promise that her salsa will be added to the offerings at Carlos O' Kelly's restaurants in Wichita later this year.
Ellis made a chunky salsa full of flavor that was full of peppers and tomatoes picked up at a local Mexican market. She entered the contest at the insistence of a friend and because she thought "it would be fun to represent the sassy senior citizens of Wichita in this competition."
The contest was sponsored by Carlos O' Kellys and drew a crowd of onlookers, who were served Carlos O' Kelly's signature chips and salsa while they watched.
Chris Montoya, who served a super spicy salsa, placed second in the contest. And Ernie Avila got third with his cucumber-spiked recipe.
The festival still has a few fun food events yet to come.
Butler County's Hospitality & Culinary Arts students will participate in an event called "It's Not Faire" at 1 p.m. Saturday on the main food court stage. The students, coached by local chefs, will re-imagine favorite festival foods to see who can do it best.
And the annual race to ingest as many funnel cakes as possible in 10 minutes will happen at 3 p.m. Saturday on the food court stage.