The chili challenge was held at Vanderbilt Park, a short walk away from the inn, and we would have walked there except for the threatening rain clouds. I love me some chili, but didn't want to get chilly.
There were about 16 chili challengers set up in the barn at the park.
Each chili chef had their table arranged with a pan of chili and assorted toppings for their chili.
Here's one with a lovely presentation. It was delicious, too.
The chili was hot in more than one way, so it was nice that in the center of the building was a large table filled with desserts, muffins, cornbread, cider donuts, and more to help cool off your mouth between helpings of chili.
Mark lived in Texas for 9 years, so to him chili means Texas and he came dressed accordingly.
Booth presentation was also part of the judging, and hands down, I think Aileen was the one who most got into the spirit of the contest -- plus her chicken chili was my personal favorite! She topped it with a chipotle creama and cilantro.
The last chili we tasted that evening was made by the youngest contestant, shown here with her assistant (her mom).
All of the chili tasters were allow to vote for their favorites with a handful of beans. Each were give a baggy of beans and at each chili station was a plexiglass box for you to vote with your beans. You could give all the beans to one person or divvy them up between all of your favorites.
After the chili tasting, we went outside to investigate the band and to search out the ice cream being served.
The band, "From Dusk to Dawn", was set up in another barn at the park.
The drizzly weather kept the audience to the hardy few, but the fire pit helped keep them warm.
Then we found the ice cream. A fudgecicle for me and a strawberry ice for Mark.