“Senator” Don Winter
The Senator was born, Donald Jerimiah Winter in 1912 in Bonanza, Colorado. A child prodigy, Don was the valedictorian of his high school at 14. Thereafter, he attended Harvard University as a Rhoads scholar, eventually earning his doctorate in Food Sciences at MIT. His thesis, “Osmotic Processes Affecting Chili Con Carne Under Asymmetrical Cooking Conditions” has been cited over 50,000 times in various interdisciplinary journals. “Father Chili”, as he is also known, has provided expert testimony in various chili-related cases including the widely cited, “The People vs. Hormel Chili Co” which set precedent for chili as its own food group in 1969. In 1996, he ran for Colorado State Senate against incumbent Wayne Allard, running under the campaign slogan, “Make Chili Great Again.” He was overwhelmingly defeated. After his brief career in politics, the Senator moved to California, where he has been judging Chili contests every since.