9th Annual CHILI COOK-OFF
I was invited to judge the various chili entries at the 2005
version of Burlingame's famous Chili Cook-Off. The lady extending the
invitation had a most charming twinkle in her eye, almost surprised that I said
"Yes." It got me wondering if I was in for some torture or
You know the old expression, "One man's meat is another man's
poison." I think the French say "One man's meat is another man's
poisson." But that's a different kettle of fish.
On a clear, bright Sunday morning, I prepared for the rigors of this
event. I had bottles of water chilled to near freezing temperatures and
prepared a bag full of palate-cleansing celery sticks in case my mouth was
caught on fire.
I found these little tiles on display by the entrance...the kids depicted
themselves before eating a school lunch or tasting 20-something versions of
People can buy "tickets" for food and fun.
I poked around to check out the various chili purveyors.
Willie or won't he?
Cowboy Chili...Texas Chili...Hoppin' Habanero...
This chili chef appeared more "squirrelly" than any.
Bubba ain't a Mensa member, apparently.
Most pre-teens and teens SHOULD be wrapped with "caution" tape, no?
A Code Red Staffer tasting his own chili...that's a good sign!
Bulldozer Chili has heavy equipment prepared to add extra complexity to its
Notice this guy's got a cell phone ready in case he needs to phone for
Root's Rootin' Tootin Chili.
City Council candidate John Root (center) with campaign manager (Mrs. Root) and
This crew looked like it knew what it was doing...
A county fire squad entered the fray...The fact that the chili didn't eat away
the ladle was another good sign.
Aspiring City Council candidates Anne Keighran and Russ Cohen are seen with
current Vice Mayor Cathy Baylock. All are running in the upcoming
election. I know they're aware of the local issues, but can any of them
cook, I wondered?
Texas Lone Star Chili.
Mighty brave is a feller wearing a white shirt and serving up grub such as
City Councilwoman Rosalie O'Mahoney is also running for re-election and she was
enjoying several of the chili's.
For aspiring judges of chili:
Rosalie's hair is actually the correct color for chili. This was to
be my benchmark in judging color once we sat down and got serious.
I was worried when I noticed the Bulldozer Chili crew
wearing hard hats. Was their chili more like a Tonka Toy or A John
You have to hand it to these kids for coming up with "Windy's
Chili..." and the slogan "Finger Licken' good." When
the votes were tallied, the fickle finger of fate pointed to these folks as
having the "Best Name."
These kids are not named Anna or Jaime, by the way, nor have they been seen
recently in San Jose.