Why do they call it chili when it’s so hot?

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Sure, there were your usual tomatoes, beef and beans, but these cooks didn’t stop there. Ingredients included such culinary surprises as venison, seafood, beer, pumpkin, coco and enough spice to excite even the hardiest of tongues.

Watch as Zach loses his taste buds at the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off.


What

2nd Annual Chili Cook-off
Clubhouse of Suffolk, Ronkonkoma

Heat Level

Astronomical

Vegetarians

More than welcome, and they get their own category!

Next chance to flaunt your chili

The New York City Chili Cook-off
April 27, 2013
Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island

I arrived at the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off at the Clubhouse of Suffolk in Ronkonkoma with a big appetite and a sense of adventure. This is where the area’s best amateur chefs compete for the prize of top chili recipe while at the same time raising funds for the Clubhouse of Suffolk, which helps homeless veterans and people with serious and persistent mental illness.

The event offered live music and a wide variety of unique chilis, each more flavorful than the next. Sure, there were your usual tomatoes, beef and beans, but these cooks didn’t stop there. Ingredients included such culinary surprises as venison, seafood, beer, pumpkin, coco and enough spice to excite even the hardiest of tongues.

Upon entering the cook-off tent I was given a handful of tickets and one token. Each ticket allowed me a small sample of each of the contestant’s chilis. Once I tasted my favorite chili I was to give that chef my token. Unfortunately, I found it difficult to choose a favorite because my low tolerance for spice led to all my taste buds being completely scorched off.

As the event came to a close the token boxes were collected and the votes were tallied. One of the winners of the day were the Doyles, a married couple who run a local boat sail company when they are not perfecting their chili recipe. This was the second year in a row the Doyles won best chili in the vegetarian category. They humbly received their award and were proud to have their hard work pay off.

I ended the day with a moment of poor judgment. With the lofty goal of improving my spice tolerance, I decided to eat a whole habanera pepper. It was a terrible mistake that will never be repeated. I learned that day that food can sometimes be as spicy coming out as it is going in.

If you’re still looking to taste some spicy chili despite my poor example, or if you’d like to compete in the next big chili cook-off, mark your calendar for The New York City Chili Cook-off on April 27, 2013 in Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island. This will be the only cook-off in New York sanctioned by the International Chili Society and the winner will walk away with a $1000 cash prize.

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