Regular and potent gusts of wind were a welcome reprieve from the serious heat that was supplied by the numerous pots of chili entered in the West Shore Rotary Club’s annual cookoff.
Eleven teams put their best recipes to the test on Saturday at Millstream Village, with each batch spicier, hotter and more fragrant than the next.
In the end, the team from The Market on Millstream took home the top spot with their recipe that included a special sriracha and sour cream topping.
“We’ve been thinking about it for 364 days, since the last contest. We tried to use local ingredients wherever possible and a little bit of pork, beef and pepperoni,” said Jason Boer, the store’s manager.
And it was the spiciness that separated the Market team from the rest, according to taster Lindsay Straith, who gave their chili his personal vote for its heat level.
That’s not to say that there was much to separate any of the 11 chilis entered into the contest. The concoction from the Axe and Barrel Brew Pub received top marks for its “perfect balance of spice and sweetness” according to one voter, while Nando’s got points for “uniqueness” according to another, citing their use of chicken for the base protein as a welcome change to traditional recipes.
Bucky’s Taphouse took second spot in the judged contest while the team from Royal LePage earned third.
As for this reporter’s vote, call me a front-runner, but the sriracha sour cream sauce clinched it for me.
The Market on Millstream gets a full five chili peppers out of five.