By PAMELA CODY
Special to the PRESS
The outdoor patio at Louie’s Backyard was filled to capacity last Saturday, as teams of hopeful cooks vied for bragging rights as they offered up their unique recipes in the 2018 SPICE Chili Cook-Off.
To bean or not to bean was the question of the day, with 18 teams serving up 31 versions of traditional red, green, white and freestyle chili, as well as a charro bean category. Anything containing beans automatically goes in to the freestyle division, as Texan-style chili purists believe that real, authentic chili does not contain beans.
This was Ross Bland’s first time entering the SPICE competition, and his team was confident about their recipe. “We make our chili with nilgai, a nice lean, good tasting meat, not gamey at all,” Bland described.
Don Hall and wife, Carmen, who hail from the Ozarks in Missouri, were enjoying their first chili cook-off. The Winter Texan couple dubbed their tasty freestyle recipe “Armadillo Chili,” with Don noting that their recipe is based on regional chili from the Ozark area. When asked what makes his recipe special, Don replied “It’s freestyle; let your imagination taste it.”
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