A "chili" contest

Everything about food, from matching food and wine to recipes, techniques and trends.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

A "chili" contest

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:03 am

A couple of friends of ours have an annual party in which everyone is encouraged to bring chili. There's a blind tasting, the chilis are ranked, and there are prizes for the top three. This year was a little weirder than usual. There were a couple of fairly traditional chilis including ours, which was a mole style with cubed pork, beef, some black beans, and a rich sauce with chili powder, cumin, chipotles, a little espresso, a little chocolate, etc. The other traditional version had a good dose of chipotles and was quite spicy (a little too spicy for most of the folks there). Then there was one made with lamb that was very tasty but didn't really stand out. There was one made with chicken and white beans that was served with sour cream that had some orange flavoring in it. The orangey sour cream gave it a wonderful citrus lift and it was my favorite of the day.

My chili placed third. The chicken one placed second. And the winner? It was made with no discernible chili powder, ground beef, shark, and baby octopus. And it was really good. The only reason it didn't get my vote for first place was its lack of chili flavor - I thought that took it down a notch in ranking. But it was extremely tasty with plenty of complex flavors and perfectly textured shark and octopus. It was made by guy from Italy who knows food very well (even if he doesn't know chili).

All in all, a really fun party.

Mike

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field" - Niels Bohr
User avatar
Mike Filigenzi
Known for his fashionable hair
 
Posts: 6994
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:43 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:44 am

Mike Filigenzi (Sacto) wrote:And the winner? It was made with no discernible chili powder, ground beef, shark, and baby octopus. And it was really good.


Italian surf'n'turf! Still, I know one must not be a snob at a social event, but as good as that sounds, it sure doesn't sound like chili to me. <harrumph>
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17155
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby John Tomasso » Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:41 am

Sounds like a fun party, Mike.

I don't get as fussy about chili as a lot of folks do. I'm pretty happy with my quick version, which utilizes plenty of onion and ground beef for the guts of it. I flavor with salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, a dark, commercial chili powder, and cayenne pepper. I add a can of tomato sauce, some red kidney beans, and canned diced tomatos at the end. I realize that my chili is probably heresy to people for whom chili is a religion, but I just can't get that worked up about it.

I've made the more involved recipes before, with fresh chile peppers, and all day simmering, and cubes of meat vs ground, etc etc etc, but frankly, if I'm going to put that much time into something, I'd rather make a nice pot of Bolognese.
User avatar
John Tomasso
Too Big to Fail
 
Posts: 1202
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:27 pm
Location: Buellton, CA

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby ChefCarey » Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:41 am

Robin Garr wrote:
Mike Filigenzi (Sacto) wrote:And the winner? It was made with no discernible chili powder, ground beef, shark, and baby octopus. And it was really good.


Italian surf'n'turf! Still, I know one must not be a snob at a social event, but as good as that sounds, it sure doesn't sound like chili to me. <harrumph>


And would not have been allowed in the chili contests I have judged - unless, as sometimes happens, they had an "other" category. Green, red, hot, mild, pork, beef, lamb - just about anything goes except the chili must contain meat. Oh, and no beans allowed.
ChefCarey
 

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:45 am

ChefCarey wrote:Oh, and no beans allowed.


Not even in the Midwestern Division!?
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17155
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby ChefCarey » Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:13 am

Robin Garr wrote:
ChefCarey wrote:Oh, and no beans allowed.


Not even in the Midwestern Division!?


Have only judged in the South. No Midwest Division. :)
ChefCarey
 

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:41 am

ChefCarey wrote:Have only judged in the South. No Midwest Division. :)


What could be more Southern than the Ohio Valley? ;-)
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17155
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby ChefCarey » Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:54 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
ChefCarey wrote:Have only judged in the South. No Midwest Division. :)


What could be more Southern than the Ohio Valley? ;-)


Excellent point. Many, many years ago when I was at the library doing some research prior to a radio appearance in San Francisco, I was reading the intro to a book on New Olreans culture. The line that stuck out was " New Orleans is not nearly so "Southern" as , say, Evansville, Indiana." Struck home - my daddy was from New Orleans and my mother from Evansville.
ChefCarey
 

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby Jenise » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:13 pm

WHAT? If that had read, "New Orleans is not so...as Tallahassee, Florida," I'd have been less surprised. To us Left Coasters, there's nothing southern about Indiana.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26385
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby ChefCarey » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:46 pm

Jenise wrote:WHAT? If that had read, "New Orleans is not so...as Tallahassee, Florida," I'd have been less surprised. To us Left Coasters, there's nothing southern about Indiana.


The Ku Klux Klan was very strong in Southern Indiana.

"Professing itself nonpolitical, the Klan nevertheless controlled politics in many communities and in 1922, 1924, and 1926 elected many state officials and a number of Congressmen. Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Oregon, and Maine were particularly under its influence."

Isn't Oregon on that Left Coast you mentioned? :)
ChefCarey
 

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:46 pm

ChefCarey wrote:
And would not have been allowed in the chili contests I have judged - unless, as sometimes happens, they had an "other" category. Green, red, hot, mild, pork, beef, lamb - just about anything goes except the chili must contain meat. Oh, and no beans allowed.


It didn't get my first place vote just because I couldn't quite reconcile the ingredients with my personal definition of chili (which is pretty darn loose). But I couldn't begrudge the winner his title, either. The stuff was just too good.

I think this is either the second or third year in a row that Allesandro's won this. The guy really knows how to put together a tasty stew.

Mike

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field" - Niels Bohr
User avatar
Mike Filigenzi
Known for his fashionable hair
 
Posts: 6994
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:43 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby ChefCarey » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:50 pm

Jenise wrote:WHAT? If that had read, "New Orleans is not so...as Tallahassee, Florida," I'd have been less surprised. To us Left Coasters, there's nothing southern about Indiana.


Also. I went to high school in Evansville. There was not a black in my school until I was a senior - this despite the fact that there were thousands of blacks living literally within blocks of the school. They went to Lincoln High School which was several miles away.
ChefCarey
 

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby Jenise » Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:33 pm

What a fun way to throw a pot luck, and what inventive contributions.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26385
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby ChefCarey » Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:58 pm

Mike Filigenzi (Sacto) wrote:
ChefCarey wrote:
And would not have been allowed in the chili contests I have judged - unless, as sometimes happens, they had an "other" category. Green, red, hot, mild, pork, beef, lamb - just about anything goes except the chili must contain meat. Oh, and no beans allowed.


It didn't get my first place vote just because I couldn't quite reconcile the ingredients with my personal definition of chili (which is pretty darn loose). But I couldn't begrudge the winner his title, either. The stuff was just too good.

I think this is either the second or third year in a row that Allesandro's won this. The guy really knows how to put together a tasty stew.


Maybe you folks should call this a "stew" contest. :) I love a good stew.
Mike
ChefCarey
 

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:23 pm

ChefCarey wrote:my mother from Evansville.


I knew that, either from you or from our mutual friend. Speaking of similar environs from Jasper east to Madison, we have a saying in Louisville that around here, you have to go North to get South. :wink:
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17155
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun Apr 02, 2006 6:36 pm

ChefCarey wrote:
Maybe you folks should call this a "stew" contest. :) I love a good stew.


I agree with you, Chef! Chili would still fit into a stew competition, but it would open things up a bit.

But it was fun under any name.


Mike

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field" - Niels Bohr
User avatar
Mike Filigenzi
Known for his fashionable hair
 
Posts: 6994
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:43 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby ChefCarey » Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:35 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
ChefCarey wrote:my mother from Evansville.


I knew that, either from you or from our mutual friend. Speaking of similar environs from Jasper east to Madison, we have a saying in Louisville that around here, you have to go North to get South. :wink:


Did either of us tell you my stepfather was from Louisville? :)
ChefCarey
 

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:52 pm

ChefCarey wrote:my stepfather was from Louisville? :)


That rings a faint and distant bell, much fainter than the Evansville bit.
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17155
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby ChefCarey » Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:55 pm

[quote="Robin Garr"]You'll remember it when I tell you they owned a bakery in Louisville, many, many years ago. I think it was called Goldberg's?????

Oh, yeah ... right, I do remember that. Think I got it straight from you, without intermediaries. :)

Funny thing, though, is that I don't remember the bakery - maybe in our parents' time?
ChefCarey
 

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby ChefCarey » Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:32 am

ChefCarey wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:You'll remember it when I tell you they owned a bakery in Louisville, many, many years ago. I think it was called Goldberg's?????

Oh, yeah ... right, I do remember that. Think I got it straight from you, without intermediaries. :)

Funny thing, though, is that I don't remember the bakery - maybe in our parents' time?


Yes, likely in our parent's era.
ChefCarey
 

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:11 am

ChefCarey wrote:Yes, likely in our parent's era.


The odd thing about a "Goldberg's" is that Louisville's bakery community has been traditionally German, with names like Heitzman's, Ehrmann's, Plehn's, Wohlleb's, Ehrler's, etc., plus an Italian family or two (Fanelli's, Impellizzerri's), but despite the city having a fairly good-size Jewish community, I'm not aware of any historic bakeries with a Jewish family name. As recently as the 1970s, we still had to go to Cincinnati for bagels!
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17155
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby ChefCarey » Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:51 am

Robin Garr wrote:
ChefCarey wrote:Yes, likely in our parent's era.


The odd thing about a "Goldberg's" is that Louisville's bakery community has been traditionally German, with names like Heitzman's, Ehrmann's, Plehn's, Wohlleb's, Ehrler's, etc., plus an Italian family or two (Fanelli's, Impellizzerri's), but despite the city having a fairly good-size Jewish community, I'm not aware of any historic bakeries with a Jewish family name. As recently as the 1970s, we still had to go to Cincinnati for bagels!


They were very Jewish and very Orthodox. From Russia originally. Oh, and they were there. Several of the brothers ended up in the bakery business - in Evansville, Richmond, Indiana, Toledo and Miami Beach - at Wolfie's. The one who didn't ended up in the scrap metal business.
ChefCarey
 

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:58 am

ChefCarey wrote:They were very Jewish and very Orthodox. From Russia originally. Oh, and they were there. Several of the brothers ended up in the bakery business - in Evansville, Richmond, Indiana, Toledo and Miami Beach - at Wolfie's. The one who didn't ended up in the scrap metal business.


Oh, I believe you ... was just off on a cultural riff ... for whatever reason, by the '60s, anyway, Louisville had plenty of old German and Italian bakeries that went back to the 1900s, but I'm not aware of any Jewish bakeries at that point. As you said, it must have been earlier.

(I once interviewed the elderly proprietor of the city's first Chinese restaurant, by the way, and she attributed much of its success to a conscious choice of its original location based on its proximity to the neighborhoods where most of the city's Jewish families lived.)
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17155
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: A "chili" contest

Postby ChefCarey » Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:43 am

Robin Garr wrote:
ChefCarey wrote:They were very Jewish and very Orthodox. From Russia originally. Oh, and they were there. Several of the brothers ended up in the bakery business - in Evansville, Richmond, Indiana, Toledo and Miami Beach - at Wolfie's. The one who didn't ended up in the scrap metal business.


Oh, I believe you ... was just off on a cultural riff ... for whatever reason, by the '60s, anyway, Louisville had plenty of old German and Italian bakeries that went back to the 1900s, but I'm not aware of any Jewish bakeries at that point. As you said, it must have been earlier.

(I once interviewed the elderly proprietor of the city's first Chinese restaurant, by the way, and she attributed much of its success to a conscious choice of its original location based on its proximity to the neighborhoods where most of the city's Jewish families lived.)


I think by the Depression the family had left Louisville and relocated to Evansville. They had a number of bakeries there. When I was a teenager I helped clean out a building they owned where they had once had a bakery. It was interesting cleaning out the upstairs. There had been a house of ill repute above the bakery. (There's an old joke here.) My virginal teenage eyes saw some outfits I had only seen in...well...er...magazines. At any rate, apparently the madam was a voracious reader. Nobody else was interested in her books so I got them all. There were hundreds - classic literature and "modren" authors - almost all fiction. Who knows the bakery and the whorehouse may have set me on the road to becoming an English major.
ChefCarey
 

Next

Return to The Forum Kitchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot], Google [Bot], Ted Richards and 4 guests