What has now become an annual tradition is once again ready to tease the taste buds of all chili lovers during the 2011 chili cook-off, scheduled to be hosted by FishHawk Ranch on Saturday, January 22, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in Park Square.
Like apple pie, chili is an American icon, having accompanied many occasions, rightly earning its time to shine during the thousands of cook-off events around the world.
While its soup-like nature offers many variations, making its origin hard to define, chili unquestionably has a ‘Western’ flavor and, as a stew consisting of mainly meat and sauce, with some onions and a few beans and spices thrown in it, has taken some twists and turns throughout history.
Was chili invented by chuck wagon cooks who traveled along with the cowboys on long cattle drives across the rugged hills and deserts of the great Southwest, or was it an invention of the Texas prison systems in early times because the prisons bought the cheapest and toughest cuts of meat? We may never know.
One thing is for sure, it is one of the most sought after and satisfying meals enjoyed by young and old.
The chili cook-off competition is where the contestants each prepare dishes for judging either by a select group of judges or by the general public. Cook-offs are very popular among competitors such as restaurants, with very similar dishes and serve as a way to decide which recipe is the best for that particular dish.
“Our chili cook-off is one of the most popular events we have,” said Event Coordinator Jenny Palermo. “It’s family oriented and brings a sense of community to the park. Now in its fifth year, the Chili Cook-Off has truly become a FishHawk Ranch tradition. It’s an event that everyone looks forward to.”
Palermo explained that with the weather all nice and frosty, area residents as well as those who visit the community are all encouraged to “bring it on” and if they have what it takes, dish out a bowl of chili that might just beat last year’s winners, including first place winner Chad Meckstroth, and second and third place winners Steve Trimborn and Jared Bauer.
If tasting or eating the chili suits one’s fancy a bit more than cooking, the competition welcomes all to be a part of the hundreds of tasters who will eventually decide the winners
The cost of the event is $15 for cooks and $5 for tasters. Cooks or groups of cooks may rent tables from the FishHawk Ranch staff for $10.
As it has been the case for the past four years, all three winners will receive a trophy and, of course, the prestige and fame that goes with crowing the best tasting chili in FishHawk Ranch.
For more information or to register for the event, please contact Palermo at 657-6629 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.