The hungry faithful queued up and down Gay Street on a beautifully sunny and warm day in October to sample mild to hot-hot-hot offerings and vote for the best during the Rotary Club of West Chester’s Chili Cook-off.
Hubs and I did see some steam coming out of eager eaters’ ears, but we also were delighted to learn there were veggie and fish options to sample plus delicious desserts for purchase. As Hubs is the carnivore, he took the lead on providing feedback for the year’s yummy recap.
You can learn the 2012 official winners here: the people have spoken! Below, however, are the chefs who made it onto “Hub’s Nummy Scale:”
- Nummy Nummy Nummy: Purple Picnic People’s Perfect Purple Pepper Chili. Big chunks of meat made this thick chili Hub’s number one. More stuff than sauce, it was mild with a bit of burn at the end. Hearty, rich and just enough spice made this one special.
- Nummy Nummy: Radley Run Country Club’s Smokehouse Chili. Props for topping with queso blanco and scallions, which added depth of flavor. This nice nosh wasn’t overly spicy either, so the taste buds were able to do their job.
- Nummy: Bordley House Grille’s Cajun Chili. Creativity pushed this one into the top three with bits of alligator, crawfish and andouille. All terrifically tasty, not fishy at all and a bit o’the south spice. Kudos to this entrant for going the extra mile with booth decorations and costumes, too.
- Nummy Mention: Shoo Mama’s Shoo Mama, That’s Good Chili for ample beans in the mix and the cornbread side nibble. Classy!
As for me? Naturally you’ll get my non-meat-eater two cents:
- Hat’s off to Boxcar Brewing Company and the West Chester Beer Ladies for Thing 2, a queso blanco-topped veggie chili infused with Boxtoberfest.
- Many thanks to America’s Pie for serving up free slices to please the non-carnivores (and for the entertaining guy in the costume).
- In “The Early Bird Gets the Cupcake” category: Dia Doce didn’t get a chance to sell this time before I got my hands on a Salted Caramel Cupcake. Still drooling. Really.
This year was the 10th Annual Chili Cook-off and it’s easy to see why it’s a Dub-C tradition. Not only do proceeds benefit Rotary’s charities, but non-restaurant businesses, hometown cooks and volunteer organizations also get to strut their stuff. It’s a delish community event with a purpose.
So make a note for 2013: arrive early. Arrive hungry. Wear comfy shoes. Queue up early to get samples of Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, Doc Magrogan’s West Chester and Side Bar and Restaurant tastes (all had very long lines of very happy samplers). Don’t overlook the non-restaurant contestants. Save room for dessert. At this West Chester classic, you won’t be disappointed.