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Beans in My Ear

The Heat is on as Baliís Chili Cook-Off Season Commences with First Round Qualify Completion in Ubud

(2/26/2012) The Melting Pot Game Room Pub on Jalan Pengosekan in Ubud, Bali was the scene of fierce competition on Sunday, February 19, 2012 as a multinational field of competitors vied for top honors in the first round of the 2012 Texas Chili Cook-off Season. The quality of Texas-style chili in Bali's second-ever chili cooking competition suitably impressed the panel of four expert judges, who took their time savoring and deliberating over the entries in three categories; determining which blend had the right balance of flavor, consistency and heat.

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After several hours of careful chopping, slicing, spicing and stewing - the entrants in the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) and Vegetarian divisions turned in impressive blends. In the CASI category, Stephen Michaels of Texas who was last year's winner, put on his famous “Road kill Texas Red” while Team M & M Chili produced a noteworthy pot of bubbling chili. Meanwhile, Team Sanur Garden, headed by Indian chef Dipika, created a tasty vegetarian chili using homemade paneer cheese, which scored high marks with the judges. However, in the end, all three teams in both categories were edged out by Team Pothead Chili, with Toby and Greg putting some down home Texas magic into their pots and taking home awards in both the Vegetarian and CASI Categories.

Team M & M Chili were awarded top marks in the Freestyle Category, but not before Mark, a Yankee from New York, was rushed the doctor's clinic for cooling treatment after inadvertently splashing water on his face with hands covered in chili oil. Meanwhile, the other half of the M & M team, Swedish national, Marcus, stood his ground and handed in the judges' favorite in category at the turn-in time of 5:30 p.m..

This year’s competition saw the introduction of a People's Choice Category generating funds to benefit charity. Voting packets, which included tasting bowls, spoons and a voting ballot, were sold with a portion of the proceeds going to support [Plastic Free Bali], a non-profit environmental campaign to reduce single use plastic bags by promoting BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag.

The competition was intense as the crowd milled around the chili cooking stations sampling directly from all the pots before placing their votes at the voting station. Winning the People’s Choice Award was last year's CASI award-winning cook, Stephen Michaels with his 'Road kill Texas Red'. Later, "I'd like to thank the academy...", began a rather lengthy and entertaining acceptance speech by the first second-time winner in Bali’s Texas Chili cooking competition.

All winners from last year's inaugural event, the current qualifying round, together with a second qualifying event to be held in June are automatically included in the end-of-season championship event scheduled for October 21 in Ubud.

For more information on the second qualifying round in June or the finals in October, contact Sherri at by [Email]  or by telephoning ++62(0) 812 364 0490.

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