The 1st Annual Chilifest at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Westport was a blazing success. So many non-wusses showed up despite the nasty snow that piled up, slushy inch by slushy inch. Similar to Chowdafest (coming soon), you pay the entrance fee (just $6 here), get a spoon, a pencil, and a ballot. We played a pretty serious game of juggling with all that stuff, our camera, our pen, and our notebook. Yeah, we’re food nerds, we carry a book to take notes with. It’s a tiny one at least. :)
When you entered, you could see the two flaming, red hot trophies that the competitors lusted after. A holy U was formed with all the restaurants offering up cups of hot and bone-warming chili. Some tried for the Classic trophy and some cooked up a storm (pun intended) to capture the Creative trophy. Here’s a breakdown of the chilis with a description. After that, we’ve got the official results from the Chilifest site.
Ash Creek Saloon: “Ash Kicking Chili” was a very typical chili with yummy ground beef. Classic.
Bobby Q’s: “Smokehouse Chili” was with BBQ brisket and was helluva smoky. Classic.
Brewhouse: “Dat’l Do It 3 Bean Chili” with a perfect consistency and great sweetness to tomato ratio. Classic.
Chili Bomb: “Texas Peacemaker” with an ordinary chili that was a bit bland but had great heat. Classic.
“Jack’s Chipotle Turkey” was smoky and had that strong kick of turkey in it. Creative.
DaPietro’s: “Da Pietro’s Delectable Chili” had great taste with hints of cumin possibly, but was a bit soupy. Classic.
“Vivacious Vegetarian Chili” was tomatoey, had bits of tender tofu in it, and was a bit spicy. Creative.
Nicholas Roberts: “Texas Chain Gang Chili” with duck fat (f’yeah), shredded beef shoulder, and cumin. Classic.
“Quinoa Vegetarian Chili” was most unique. The miso added a great, complex flavor. Quinoa is fun to say.
Old Post Tavern: “Fire in the Hole Chili” was spicy, thick, tomatoey, and smoky. Classic.
Swanky Franks: “Hot Dog! That’s Good Chili!” was a freaking spicy hot dog chili. Made with cloves and possibly jerk seasonings. Creative.
The Lime: “SubLIME Vegetarian Chili” was made with cashews, but was too mushy and overcooked. Creative.
The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood: “Sumptuous Seafood Chili” was a seafood spin with cornbread croutons but needed a bit more spice. Creative.
And the Winners Are…