03-04-2007, 07:02 AM
Noticed a flier at the YMCA the other day about a Chilli Cookoff. The event was going to be a fundraiser for a Relay for Life team made up of employees that work at a local physical therapy office and the American Cancer Society. Contestants could enter at $10 per entry and all you had to do was donate some $ to be a taster and judge. After the judging, anyone could buy a bowl of chilli for $1. I figured what the hell, I'll throw down on that so I called and told them to put my name on the list as a competitor. Took a smoked brisket point and some pulled pork out of the freezer from a previous cook and placed them in the crock pot along with onions, garlic, tomatoes, chopped up japs, chilli powder, Mark's dried smoked habs he gave me at the fall bash, and (close your eyes you chilli purist down there in Texas) a can of Brooks hot chilli beans. I normally roast a few red bell peppers but didn't have time so I just went with what I had. I was one of only six contestants and the judges were all family members or coworkers of the other contestants. Of the other five pots of chilli entered, four of them were totally bland and two of those were white chicken chilli. The fifth chilli had some kick to it and I liked it. It had a little sweetness to it yet it still had fire that would linger a little. The only drawback to this fifth chilli was, IMHO, it was too thin and made with ground beef. When it came time to announce the winners I figured I had wasted my time because I kept hearing people say how spicey my chilli was. A couple of people didn't even taste my chilli because of the spicey comments of others. The 3rd place winner was announced and I thought her's was the second most bland of the others; 2nd place was announced and she had entered one of the chicken chilli's which was my least favorite. I knew now that there was no way in hell I was going to win. Show's how much I know. Even though it was a small unorganized event, it still feels good to win. The organizers of this first time cookoff admitted they had no idea on how to run this but plan on making it an annual event.