January 25, 2014
Dark Horse (n) - A common phrase in the lexicon of American vernacular, wherein an "underdog" or unlikely hero enters the field of competition at great odds... but with iron mettle and a sack full of oats, achieves well beyond a given level of expectation.
This was the scene one brisk California evening. We were just three strangers who had never entered such a contest. With our spurs a jangling and pots a simmering, chefs Jenny Vasquez, Liz Gregor, and yours truly whipped up a stew worthy of 1st place in the 15th annual Kiwanis of Alameda Chili Cookoff. Gregor, the team's decoration technician, constructed a booth that showcased both the technical prowess and legumatic whimsy that our group, The Beany Beauties truly possessed.
Topping off the contents of the mythical cauldron were two choice garnishes: allspice pickled red onions and cilantro lime sour cream. The chili itself contained a harmonic blend of negro, New Mexico, casabel, and chipotle chilies, as well as chocolate stout beer, cinnamon, black beans, tomatoes, Ibarra chocolate, and a trio of hearty meats (7 bone chuck roast, pork shoulder, and premium ground beef).
Kudos also go out to the other groups of chili makers who did themselves proud such as High Street Station, Alameda Firefighters, H&R Block, Eon Technologies, and the 1400 Club. After the hard fought battle we were treated to a fab BBQ dinner and a country line dancing exhibition... as winners of the night's raffle, silent auction, and chili cookoff were revealed.
If you haven't figured it out by now... it was us!!