Chilly weather no problem for chili cook-off

Special to the PRESS

Dressed in cold weather gear, master of ceremonies Blain McCulloch surveyed the crowd at the 2019 South Padre Island Chili Expo (SPICE) chili and bean cook-off last Saturday at Louie’s Backyard. Putting a positive spin on the frigid, damp weather, McCulloch mused “The weather could be better, but it’s an absolutely perfect day for chili.”

Despite temperatures hovering around 50 degrees, an enthusiastic crowd of chili lovers gathered to sample the different recipes entered in the competition in one of four categories: red, green/white, freestyle and beans. Upon paying the entrance fee, tasters could try as many sample cups as they liked until the chili was gone. Guests are given five wooden sticks each with which to cast votes for their favorite concoctions.

An age-old argument, especially here in Texas, is whether or not true chili should have beans or no beans. Coming down on the no beans side was Michael Gonzalez of Austin, who was in town visiting friends and decided to come check out the competition. “Real chili has no beans,” he declared.

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