When all the trash-talking was done, there was just chili. Nine kinds of chili, nine proud chefs, and over 100 cooperators who came downstairs Sunday afternoon to taste and judge and chat.
Participants were: Minnie Michalski, with a Texas beef & bean chili; myself, with a zombie chili made from freshly killed zombies; Judi Aronowitz, who grabbed a kosher chili from East Side Glatt; Ramon Peña, with a gorgeous presentation of traditional beef chili and rice; KC Sahl, with a New Mexico green chili; Paola Zanzo with a vegetarian option; Juliet Leibon, with a traditional chile filled with love; Yu Duk So with another sumptuous traditional beef chile; and Jim Keenan, with an amazing Italian-inspired chile. No kidding.
When the eating was over, the judging began. The People’s Choice award was carefully administered and counted by various cooperative children — two of whom just happened to be the sons of winner KC Sahl.
Then our three official judges — cooperators and food professionals all — handed out various kudos and compliments. Just like in little league, everyone got a trophy, but the best traditional chile was awarded to Juliet Leibon aka Chiliet!
Many thanks to our initially reluctant but eventually enthusiastic judges — Andrew Chase from Cafe Katja on Orchard Street; Kevin Heald from Malt & Mold on East Broadway; and Vivian Sorenson from Chopped on the Food Network.
See you next year?