Ithaca’s annual Downtown Chili Cook-Off returns this weekend. Many will enter, but only one will come out on top. Who has what it takes? We’ve been following the action and are proud to present our list of this year’s top contenders.
7. The Chef From Matt‘s Fraternity
Matt says his frat chef makes a “dank” beef chili. He made a test batch last weekend for the Superbowl, which was “absolute fire.” We’re betting on the chef from Matt’s frat to wow the judges this weekend.
6. Tim’s Grandpa
A man who simply plays the game the right way year in and year out, Tim’s Grandpa hasn’t changed his chili recipe in 45 years. And why would he? With seven Cook-Off titles to his name, Tim’s Grandpa has more than proved he can show up in big moments.
5. Tim’s Dad
This young gun exploded onto the scene this year with a spicy offering. After studying for years under the tutelage of Tim’s Grandpa, he’s finally ready to leave the nest and make a name for himself. He’s certainly struggled with consistency, as Tim reported last week’s chili was “severely undercooked,” but he’s shown flashes of the kind of chili-brilliance that can take the whole thing. Does he have what it takes to make a splash under the bright lights?
4. Kathy Zoner
Everyone’s favorite police chief is coming to the table with her famous “Blue Light Chili.” The secret ingredients? Serrano peppers and meat from dead cyclists who failed to obey traffic laws. Stay warm and vigilant this weekend!
3. Joaquin & Sage
Joaquin grows his own basil. Sage only buys the best heirloom varieties from the local organic co-op. Together, this couple makes the best vegan white bean chili in Tompkins County. But they’ll need more than just a healthy glass of probiotic kombucha to overpower the carnivorous heavyweights this year.
2. Martha Pollack
Warm water. Some have expressed concerns that she might not, in fact, know what chili is. However, as all of the judges are on the University payroll and don’t want to lose their jobs, she leads the betting markets going into the contest.
1. The Buffalo Bills
Say what you want about this group, but they always come to play and might even give some of the big dogs a scare while they’re at it. Expect a strong chili from this defensive-minded Bills team.