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A day made for chili lovers

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These three chili lovers taste the chili created by Lisa and Hunter Walker that also featured condiments of sour cream, green onions and corn muffins. (Photo by Tom Chillemi)

The cold rain that fell made Saturday a good day for hot chili.

Shannon Atene of Gloucester wasn’t going to enter the Chili Cook-Off in Urbanna, but at the last minute co-workers at BB&T convinced her to whip up her “Drunken Chilis.”

While Atene was describing her chili, her daughter Elizabeth Ackley blurted out, “I know what’s in it that makes it taste good.” Atene quickly quieted her daughter by putting her hand across her mouth to keep the secret ingredients a secret.

Atene would reveal that her chili had smoked chipotle peppers—and beer. “Four of the six pack made it into the sauce,” she said. “It’s not ‘Sloppy’ Drunken Chili . . . maybe next year it will be sloppy, and we’ll get more people to jump into the water.”

Her effort won second place in the amateur division.

Contest Results
Professional Division: 1st place, Something Different with Dan Gill’s Texas Red; 2nd place, The Wing Joint of Topping; and 3rd place, Something Different with Mike MacCargar’s Eastern Style with beans.

Amateur Division: 1st place, Sandy Sturgill and Lee Chewning with their Road Kill Chili; 2nd place, Shannon Atene with her Drunken Chilis; 3rd place, Bridging Communities Culinary School of New Kent.

Throw-Down
The main event was the throw-down to determine what style of chili is more popular in this area. Eastern Style chili is cooked with lots of kidney beans and vegetables whereas Southwestern Style is mostly meat and chilies with other seasonings and is intended to be served with beans or tortillas. Both styles are assertive with similar levels of heat.

Mike’s Eastern Style features hand-cut smoked tri-tip and kidney beans with lots of chili and vegetables.

Dan’s Texas Red is meatier with lots of coarsely ground chuck and plenty of chilies. It is typically served with beans—in this case heritage Anasazi beans from Colorado.

Mike MacCargar, pit master at Something Different, won the throw-down with his Eastern Style Chili by one tie-breaking vote.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 02.19.2014

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