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Chili Competition: Hot and Spicy Happenings in Dublin

The City of Dublin's first annual chili competition.

Something spicy was cooking in Dublin last night. The first annual chili competition, hosted by the City of Dublin, took place on during the at .

In June, the City of Dublin put out the to throw in their hats (or pots of chili in this case) into the ring as part of the first ever chili competition.

Six contestants competed for a gift certificate and recognition as being the best when it comes to chili. The five judges included Dublin councilmembers: Kasie Hildenbrand, Eric M. Swalwell and Don Biddle along with and wild card judge, Juni Reoh, a self-proclaimed amateur chili expert from southern California who all judged each dish on taste, appearance and overall rating.

Judges followed strict rules and cleansed palates between each tasting. All of the entries appeared (and tasted) well though-out with a great effort made by each chef. The chilis sported names like,"Hillbilly Chili, Dubtown Red and Chili's Chili."

Paul Hoffman of San Ramon, whose entry of "Turkey Chili" took second place, says he heard about the competition from his sister-in-law and went through several different versions of a recipe before he ended up with his winning recipe.

Hoffman originally wanted to compete in the annual Castro Valley chili competition back in May. He says he remembered in that competition for their chili verde.

When he heard about the Dublin competition, he decided to enter.

"I had two versions to get to this recipe. One had lots of beans and no tomatoes and the other had tomatoes and no beans," said Hoffman. "I used less than half the chili for this version."

Todd Eisenstadt won first prize for his entry of "Dubtown Red" chili. The bean-less chili was made with tri-trip steak.

Eisenstadt says he heard about the contest on Patch and that this is his first chili competition. Eisenstadt does not believe beans should be in chili.

"This is the recipe I have done all the time for my family," commented Eisenstadt. "It has good heat, is a little sweet and has great meat."

Eisenstadt says the recipe is his own creation. He plans on using his Hooters gift certificate to go out for "wings and beer."

Competitors who did not win first or second place walked away with a consolation prize of a new cutting board and measuring spoons.

Some of the comments from judges on the recipes included:

"Loved the flavor! Steak was excellent."

"Great spice and flavor."

"Not much to look at but good flavor."

"Looked great, meat very tender."

"Nice spice, a little greasy."

According to Shari Jackman, the next food competition will be involving pulled pork and the chili competition will likely be an annual event.


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