Sunday, February 7, 2010

And defeat is mine...

I'm humbled to report, friends, that I have lost my title of chili champion. What I lost with is what you see above, the "Chilly Mary," my entry into this year's meat category. It's chili re-imagined as a cocktail, basically a chili flavored version of the bloody mary: Bacon infused vodka, tomato puree with a splash of pickle juice and worcestershire sauce, and chipotle syrup, shaken with ice and served in a martini glass rimmed with a mix of salt, cornmeal, oregano, cumin and smoked paprika and garnished with a cocktail onion and a square of bacon on the rim... An interesting concoction to be sure, but not enough to beat my good friend Matt, who won the contest handily this year with his latest iteration of chili pie (what won it for him this year, I believe, is that, with the help of his better half Shannon, he finally nailed his crust; built of butter, flour and cornmeal, it truly kicked ass). I wasn't able to fend off Matt's pie this year, but I did my best, starting with the martini glasses, rented from a local catering company:

The first step was to rim these glasses with the chili spice mixture:

Which led to the first rough draft of this project:

The final product, of course, fell short of winning, but was eagerly consumed by the crowd, as evidenced by the aftermath:

And now for some shots of my friends enjoying the evening:

Here's our gracious host, Greg (on the right; that's Ray Belt slouching on the left), getting ready to announce the winners...

This year's winner of the cornbread category, Kristy Orbitschkewitch:

And the meat champion himself, Matt Svaglic:

Here we see Tim Scott enjoying a frosty can of Hamm's (you PDXers will no doubt notice the sign and remember then 19 year old Jake Okenberg's run for mayor back in the early aughts...):

And here, just some of the mess to be cleaned up by Greg and Bonnie in the morning:

A good time was had by all, even the losers, for whom I am now qualified to speak. Thanks again, Greg and Bonnie, for putting on the eighth annual chili cook-off. Here's looking forward to the ninth, and more importantly (Greg...) the tenth...