The recipes were tweaked to perfection. The judges and people have tasted. And the winners of the Third Annual Farmer’s Market Chili Cook-Off are in.
There were only a handful of chili chefs, but each brought their own flare and flavor to the dish.
The judge’s choice winner came from Cindy and Jeff Stier of McKenna Farms. Their dish aired on the traditional side, though it did have a little kick to it.
“[Jeff] tried to do it for the masses,” said Cindy. Their winning chili is a perfect example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
On the other end of the spectrum was Jason Brown. Brown represents the soon-to-open steakhouse and meat market, One Ten Craft Meatery, on Buffalo Street in Warsaw. Brown’s chili contained a lot of ingredients – mostly from Sweet Corn Charlie – and a bit of an Asian flair, achieved by using Sriracha chili sauce.
Brown was offering a meat and vegetarian option. His meat chili won the people’s choice title, and second place for the judges. His vegetarian recipe won third place in the Judge’s Choice.
Brian McClelland of B-Mac’s on Buffalo had a tasty recipe. “It’s homemade from scratch,” he said. “I use a secret ingredient called beer.”
The recipe is the same he serves in his restaurant. It takes eight hours to prepare, and contains a hint of brown sugar for sweetness and a little salsa for added flavor.
Last, but certainly not least, was Joe Bryan. He competed in honor of his father, Harold, who he says was quite a cook.
Bryan’s recipe contained six different kinds of beans. “It’s a party in your mouth,” he said with a laugh. His secret ingredient: the farm’s dirt where his produce came from.
The people’s choice was decided by donations to each chili contestant. The cook with the most money at the end of the day was the winner, and all of the money was donated to the Beaman Home.
On the other side of the parking lot, Scott and Terry began playing songs, kicking off ExtravaBandza, as event organizer Paula Bowman counted up the donations.
A total of $68.42 was raised for the Beaman Home at the cook-off. Additional proceeds will be collected at ExtravaBandza.