People’s Chili Awards

Midtown Global Market hosts its 4th annual Chili Cook-Off

Beth Fisher, last year’s winner of the Chili Cook-Off at Midtown Global Market, cans her “secret chili sauce” on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday’s 4th Annual Chili Cook-Off.

Jason Kopp

Beth Fisher, last year’s winner of the Chili Cook-Off at Midtown Global Market, cans her “secret chili sauce” on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday’s 4th Annual Chili Cook-Off.

Stephanie Nusser

What: Chili Cook-Off

Where: Midtown Global Market, 920 East Lake Street

When: Nov. 13

Cost:$3

 

Everybody loves a bowl of chili. With a side of crackers, sour cream, shredded cheese or just on its own âÄîchili is a crowd-pleaser.

South Minneapolis is going south of the border on Nov. 13 at Midtown Global Market during its fourth annual Chili Cook-Off.

âÄú[The Chili Cook-Off] is a way to highlight all the options of the ingredients that you can buy here at the Global Market, as well to highlight different chili recipes,âÄù Market Coordinator Kim Hanna said.

This is the place to taste chili samples from 10 local chefs and restaurateurs. For the public, the hard part comes at the end when they must place a vote. With 10 options, all from outstanding chefs, this vote takes more thought (and less recounting) than Emmer and Dayton.

The public must shell out three clams to participate, with all proceeds going towards the local charity PerspectivesâÄô Kids Café.

âÄúOur customers are the ones who come in and vote, and itâÄôs a good way for them to talk one-on-one with the business owners,âÄù Hanna said.

The competitors have two simple rules. First, all the ingredients must be available for purchase at the Midtown Global Market. Second, they must have a food license and access to a commercial kitchen space.

âÄúWe give out ingredient lists for people at the event, but a lot of the recipes are carefully guarded, so we donâÄôt give out recipes,âÄù said Hanna.

Last yearâÄôs winner, Beth Fisher, a chef who co-owns a catering business called Two,will look to protect her title this year.

âÄúI do make different chilis, but [the one in the competition] is the one that everyone loves,âÄù Fisher said.

Accompanying her award-winning chili is a garnish of habanero sour cream, corn tortillas and fresh cilantro.

In addition to free chili, Midtown Global Market planned ahead and has water available (courtesy of Clean Water Works) to cool down the mouths of the taste testers, after the heat of the chili has burned their taste buds.

There will be a variety of chili available, with something for everyone. The spiciness scale will range from the savory chipotle to the super spicy habanero âÄî though Fisher said she also sprinkles on the intangibles.

 âÄúI think love is the first ingredient,âÄù Fisher said. âÄúAnd then, I think, just good quality ingredients [and] not too many things in there.âÄù

Per usual, everyone likes their chili different. Different spice levels, different garnishes, different consistency âÄî lucky that chili is such a versatile dish.

âÄúI like unusualness. I like as many vegetables as you can squeeze into a chili as possible âÄî if theyâÄôre sneaky vegetables,âÄù Hanna said.

Being a chili expert doesnâÄôt really matter when it comes to being the judge of, or making, scrumptious chili. All it takes is knowing what tastes good, some time and a love for food.

And who doesnâÄôt love food?