This weekend, I crossed a major life goal off of my list when I participated in a chili cook-off … AS A JUDGE! (I also made these buttermilk biscuits, but who’s counting?). Talk about being at the top of my game, AM I RIGHT?
But let’s get to it. There were five competitors. Two judges. Six (kind of random) categories. Only one person could win it all. Our competitors were as follows, L to R, top to bottom: Andrea (classic chili with chorizo and chicken), Colin (kitchen sink chili with ketchup), Megan (vegetarian chili), John (white chili with homemade chicken stock), and Mackenzie (classic chili with Cheez-Its). The last dude is my fellow judge, Mike, who was dancing when this photo was taken and is therefore a tiny bit blurry.
Mike and I judged the chili for the following qualities, each rated out of five. As each contestant presented their chili, we asked them to “tell us about your chili,” thus naming the Tell Us About Your Chili Competition, and, after hearing what risks they had taken to pursue the perfect chili, Mike said “Let’s see if it paid off,” thus coining his very own catch phrase. The last thing I want to really emphasize to you is that after tasting each sample, we made sure to cleanse our palettes with the finest Coors Light before pronouncing judgement on the qualities below:
Spice (hard to judge after your tastebuds have been obliterated by John’s jalapeños)
Creativity (I mean, ketchup? In chili?)
The perfect bite (i.e., does the Dixie cup have all elements of the chili? Is it perfect when eaten all together?)
How much life does it have? (i.e., does your chili have the zest for life that you do?)
Each contestant was rated out of 60 possible points, and only one contestant even came close: Mackenzie. She ranked at the top of nearly every category (except for creativity!), and swept the day. Andrea was at a close second, but ultimately, it was the Cheez-It that pushed Mackenzie to the top.
The point of this post is, really, to brag that I got to judge a chili competition and to let you and your friends / enemies / fellow GBBO fans know that if you need someone to show up, demand you let them bake buttermilk biscuits in their kitchen, and then further ask to borrow half of the ingredients they need to do so before judging you, hit me up! (Sorry, Andrea, Kristin, and Megan.)