Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Superbowl 2008 Chili Cook-Off

(1st photo by Andrei)

Here is the proof I attended and helped judge the 2008 Superbowl Chili Cookoff in Williamsburg, Brooklyn last month. There were three enthusiastic teams, and three cooking areas (assigned by lottery): the stovetop, the firepit, and the...elevated fire pit. The TV was moved to the backyard and it was cold enough to keep the beer outside.

The first team entered with an ambitious "surf and turf" concept. The corn was nice, but the heat was too much and the LOBSTER flavor was startling and detracted from this chili. I also considered the meat served alongside as distracting and a little brown-nosy. The cornbread muffin was good, but there was too much going on altogether in this entry.

The second team had a nice presentation with a simple and tidy fried ball of masa as the starch, which was unfortunately bland. The pork chili was married to a mole, which was a fabulous idea. There was a nice burn and it would have been really complex but it ended up getting bogged down in sweetness from the chocolate.

The third chili was also pork and was spicy and smoky. It reminded me of barbeque and was the most classic of the three. It was nice enough looking with a puff pastry and a drizzle of a cooling herbed something. I was excited about the new approaches to chili, but in this case the winner was the traditional one done just right.

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