I went to my very first Chili Cook-off yesterday and I was sadly, disappointed. Yes, they had chili, and yes, they had beer. But the entire event seemed nothing more than an overblown charity fund raiser with chili as an afterthought.
There were two Casino sponsors who won a “Team Spirit” award, where both teams’ members actually acted as if they could care less about the entire event. One gentleman from a large casino down here, actually sat in a chair, and gave dirty looks to people who had the audacity to actually want to have some of his chili. Well, I did have the audacity, and I did get some of their chili. It was plain, boring, and was quickly dumped into the BFI dumpster next to his stand.
Speaking of BFI, they won third place, and I felt they should have actually won. Their chili was the best I had tasted and their attitudes and humor went beyond the call of duty. They all were wearing t-shirts that read “Pure Trash – All Garbage” and “BFI – Better Food Ingredients” and they genuinely looked as if they were having a good time.
I then tried the next stand and was greeted by two types of chili, normal and SuperHot. Me, being me, exclaimed “Gimme the SuperHot!” I was given a cup of chili which looked mostly normal, had some larger chunks of beef which were not cooked enough and were kind of “chewy”. I was about to discard the chili when I had my last bite, which contained something that when I bit into it, my face imploded. It was a solid chili pepper about the size of a quarter and made their chili a memorable experience for no other fact than cheating. They should have been disqualified, as that is not how you make chili hot. That is the Chief Wiggum method, and I am not Homer Simpson.
Overall, I thought the event was pretty sad, and I guess we should have gone to the Crawfish Festival instead. Maybe next time I want a good chili cook-off, I will look to Texas, and leave the Mississippi Gulf Coast to doing what they do best, Crawfish and Shrimp boils