Chilepepper and spice

Hot food can be really cool.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Chili Chef of the Year

Today we attended the annual meeting of Svenska Chilepepparföreningen (Swedish Chile pepper Association). I assume Nikka will write more about the meeting. I will however concentrate on the competition part; The Chili Chef of the Year. Yesterday I described the Chili Con Carne I made for the competition. However, some points would also be awarded for the visual appearance of the chili. So this morning I chopped up some thai chiles and made a couple of "chile flowers" to decorate my chili with. Nothing too fancy, but at least something.

There were eleven entries in the competition, covering a broad range of chili types. Both with and without beans, hot and mild, smoked and plain, and even without meat (chili sin carne). After the judges had had their share, we could try all the chilies. I might be a little biased, but I actually liked my own chili the best.

There was also a nice chipotle based chili that I liked a lot. I might try something similar some day. Chipotle gives a very distinct nice smoked flavour to any dish. Another intersting entry had a very marked habanero taste, which was a little surprising, and quite good too. Fairly hot, of course.

I heard some people mentioning that they liked #7 (my entry) the best, but I had no idea about what the judges thought. The chilies were judged on three weighted criteria; taste, heat and appearance. I was a little worried about the heat of my chili, but on the other hand, there should be a good balance between heat and taste (if heat would have been the only criterion, I certainly have some sauces that would have made me the winner.)

At the end of the meeting, a mountain of items was put on a desk. It turned out to be the prizes for the top-three entries. The chipotle-based chili I liked got the third prize. Well-deserved.

The second prize went to Viola Blom, a previous winner of several chile pepper related competitions. Her chili was also very good, and she did of course deservere her prize.

And finally, the winner was announced. It was me!

I hadn't really anticipated this. I knew my chili was good. But I didn't know anything about what the judges would think. And I also knew that there would be several good entries. Yesterday, I thought that my best chance would be if there were very few entries in the competition. So when I found out about the eleven participants, I suspected I wouldn't get any prize at all.

The prize was a huge pile of chile related food items and a book. This includes several kilos of pickled jalapenos. I don't really know what we'll do with this huge amount. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I really enjoyed this competition (don't you always when you win?). Now we know that our favourite chili is appreciated by others than us. That's good to know...


At 6:13 AM, February 06, 2006, Blogger IndyFoodie said...

Congrats! That chili does look awsome! Your "flowers" are very creative too!

At 9:38 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger Anne said...

Congratulations, that is really awesome! :)


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