The 1st Reading Chilli Cook-off

Saturday, 6 August 2011 - 12:00pm

2011 Reading Chilli Cook-off

Well, this is where it all started.....

The 6th August 2011 saw the 1st Annual reading Chilli cook-off at the College Arms in Reading. 10 teams donned their aprons and assorted Mexican themed outfits to do battle to become the Chilli champion. The teams had 4 hours to cook a gallon of chilli to impress the 4 judges and the public who had come down to absorb the atmosphere and the wonderful aromas.

For most of the morning, the clouds had threatened to it a dampener on proceedings and sure enough, literally at the very start of cooking, the heavens opened, much to the dismay of all concerned. Luckily most teams had followed the advice to bring gazebos or garden umbrellas. At least 3 teams however, used somewhat unique objects to protect their ingredients, the more successful being Sombreros!! Luckily, after 30 mins, the chilli gods had mercy on us and provided the rest of the day with abundant sunshine!

Throughout the cooking period, the crowd gathered in the pub garden to be entertained by the teams, music, a rodeo bull, a mexican themed BBQ and a dozen or so mad individuals who attempted the “Bhut Burner” challenge burger. The burger was made up a quarter pounder burger infused with hot spices, drenched in 2 tablespoons of Satan’s revenge hot sauce, 2 Bhut Jolokias sliced and some chilli cheese. The challenge was to consume the entire burger and wait five minutes before having anything to drink. 15 took on the challenge and only 6 mere mortals failed to complete the challenge. This confirmed to me we had some serious chilli heads at the event!! 6 of the challengers were made up of the stars of “Don’t Tell the Bride”. The BBC had got wind (pardon the pun) of the challenge burger and thought it would be a great idea to travel up to Reading to feature it on the stag night!!

The last 30 minutes of cooking time saw some frantic activity by all the teams (apart from the Welsh boys, who had finished their chilli cooking after one hour and had gone hunting for a pub that was showing the Rugby!!)

At 4pm on the dot, cooking ceased and a judging sample was taken from each team. To ensure fair judging, the samples and the scoring was completely anonymous. Marks were given for appearance, consistency, colour,taste and aftertaste. The judges were most impressed with the standard of each teams efforts. Out of 200 points, the teams were only separated by 30 points. Indeed, the top 3 teams were separated by just 3 points. There could be only one winner though. The £150 first prize was won by Charlotte Doody from Milton Keynes! Her chilli really stood out for the judges and the public too. Tutu Melaku, owner of Tutu’s Ethiopian restaurant in Reading, and one of our VIP judges marked Charlotte’s chilli top marks on each category, remarking the she would be “Happy to pay £15 for this!”

The public had their chance to sample each team’s chilli after the judging. Everyone agreed that each teams efforts were fantastic.

After the judging, local band “The Dirty Shirts” rocked us til late in the night!


Excellent site

By pauldoody

Thank you brother of mine!!

By Head Honcho

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