The wives of gubernatorial candidates Jim Nussle and Chet Culver squared off today in a cooking competition.
It was a chili cook-off, sponsored by the State Historical Society to promote its new exhibit on Iowa governors. The political wives didn’t dish it out — although Mari Culver did show up to say while it was her recipe, someone on the campaign staff made the chili.
Todd Dorman, Des Moines bureau chief for the Lee Enterprises newspapers in Iowa, was there at noon to watch the spectacle. “There were many people lined up to receive a Dixie cup of chili,” Dorman says.
According to Dorman, the battle of the condiments went to Karen Nussle’s team which offered not only sour cream and chopped onions, but cilantro, limes, and shredded cheese. “There was a condiment gap, definitely, between the campaigns,” Dorman says.
Dorman did favor one recipe over the other. “I thought Nussle’s recipe tasted a little more like chili, but — a lot like the campaign itself — both were on the bland side.”
Dorman suggests the candidates — and their wives — should be thankful they aren’t running for governor of Texas, where the chili’s a lot hotter — spice-wise — and the servings aren’t meted out in a Dixie cup. “It should be in a giant bowl with a giant beer,” Dorman says.
Dorman’s writing a newspaper column about the campaign’s brief culinary clash. You can read it this weekend in Lee Enterprises newspapers like the Quad City Times, the Muscatine Journal, the Mason City Globe-Gazette, the Sioux City Journal and the Waterloo Courier.