At Friday’s Women’s Bean Project fourth annual chili cook-off, the competition between 23 competitors was fierce. Though my favorite soup was that of former Rocky Mountain News food editor Marty Meitus, who made a white bean chili with fresh tomatillo salsa, the votes went this way:  Edda Sayers from the Emily Griffith Opportunity School got the gold for “Mama’s Chili,” Jaime Aguilar, also from the now-defunct Rocky, took silver for “Rocky Red Chili con Elk,” and I walked away with bronze for “Fifty-Two-Frickin’-A-Ty, That’s Some Good Chili.”

Best of all, the evening raised more than $1,200 for the a 20-year-old organization that’s committed to helping women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment.

Bonus: That evening, I learned about the WBP’s Recession Buster meals. The pre-packaged steals pair delicious 10-bean soup or Firehouse #10 chili mix with cornbread makings so that a hearty dinner for six that costs just $9. Go deluxe by adding in brownies, and you’re still only out $13.50.