The 4th Annual Chili Cook-off hosted by the Brown Alumni Club


It’s the annual Chili Cook-off hosted by the Brown Alumni Club. And Ted and El were competing with their vegetarian chili.

I did a double-take: wouldn’t a chili non carne be cheating since it is in its own category? The other thing that brought on a smile were the words “Brown” and “Chili”. Well played Brown Alumni Club, well played.

Anyway, it’s all in good fun and the event is supporting the Sala Baï Hotel & Restaurant School in Cambodia.


Inner Glow

Deep, dusky with sweetness coming from the carrots and green peppers, the Vegetopia chili non carne was my absolute favorite. If a chili non carne can make you forget the fact that there’s no meat in it, I have to say it’s an amazing feat.

Unless of course you’re tasting Grandma Jolene’s Texas Chili. Redolent of the dusky Texas sky, the chili belie the dark complex flavors of cayenne, sweet ancho chili powders and beer. With a mild bite, this is my favorite chilli you can eat all day with a bowl of nachos.


Grandma Jolene’s Secret Recipe; she’d been proud

But this would mean missing out on the chilli made by – and why not? – the French. Chilli Rendevous was one of the most complex chilli that I tasted that day. With more than 10 ingredients and a whole bottle of red wine, this was easily my favorite chilli.

Unless it was the dark mysterious chilli made by the Los Pistoleros team who lovingling hand-pulled and chopped a whole chuck of beef chuck. The smoky darkness that teetered on the edge of burn was achieved with a generous lashing of dark chocolate, expresso and beer. Definitely my favorite chilli.


Standing strong in the center was Montezuma’s Revenge, a light-colored chilli that hid an entire bottle of tequila in it. Coupled with nachos and guacamole and served with a margarita, it was my favorite chilli.

Moving off center was my favorite chilli, the Massaman Massacre. Pulled pork, beans and peanuts on rice served with a delicious Massaman curry, this filling chilli received top marks for innovation.

While there were ungracious mutterings of unsportsman-like behavior between amateurs and professionals, the chilli by The Beasts, a Tex-Mex restaurant, won over many people by adding a whole bottle of Bourbon to their chilli. It was the last chilli standing after everyone ran out.


How good was the Vegetopia Chili? It was this good.

In the end, it was a great success where $4800 was raised for the Sala Baï Hotel & Restaurant School. And the winners of the competition were:

  1. The Beasts (Best Chili),
  2. Los Pistoleros (Best Theme)
  3. Chili Rendezvous (People’s Choice).

I’m so happy that my favorite won.




Massaman’s Massacre



Los Pistoleros’s Dark Chili


Montezuma’s Revenge


Posted on 18th Mar 2014 in American, Food and Drink, Fun, Mexican, Western


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