Monday, October 15, 2012
Being a seasoned cook and being around cook offs my whole life, I have always had high thoughts about my abilities to excel at whatever I am cooking. Of course most home cooks would say the same about their own abilities as well. Talk to any self taught master chef and they will say the same thing about their ribs being the best in the state or their brisket is world renowned and don't even get me started on bean cooks. Plus it seams everyone has their own secret recipe and technique that has been handed down from generation to generation and if they told you anything about them, they would have to kill you.
Chili cooks are no different. Though some offer pointers and procedures that may help you, in general they still hold their own slice of knowledge and well kept secrets to themselves. Each cook has a proven method true to their own. One team even floats a pork chop in their chili to give it a pork flavor.
Intimidation also plays a big part in these chili cook offs. While setting everything up for our booth this weekend we had several cooks come by to introduce themselves and hang around for some idle chit-chat.
At one point everyone got quiet and started whispering. I walked over to see what was going on and one guy told me in a low voice that the last year International Champion just showed up. I could tell it too because he walked with a strut and the arrogance about him that was unrecognizable. I noticed people started wringing their hands and moving around aimlessly trying not to make eye contact with the champ for fear of whatever. After the kind gentleman told me what the fuss was all about I simple said, "So what!". The looks I got after that comment you would have thought I just called all their mommas fat or something. I guess you don't have to be a champ to have arrogance.
I got upset not because I didn't win, but because when I tasted the first place chili, it was not as good as mine. I am sure everyone else thought the same thing though.
Next weekend we will at another cook off in Van Alstyne so we will see what happens. I have made a few small adjustments to my recipe just to see.